Fringe Box



Town Quiet In Lockdown 3 As Covid ‘Gets More Serious’

Published on: 14 Jan, 2021
Updated on: 14 Jan, 2021

By Hugh Coakley

Guildford town centre was quiet on Wednesday (January 13), six days after the latest lockdown came into force in England.

Guildford High Street on a wet day in January was quiet in Lockdown 3.

One Guildford resident in the High Street said: “I think people realise it is getting more serious.”

But a counter view was expressed by a postman on his rounds: “I see people flouting the rules. They are fed up. 150 planes a day are flying into Heathrow and we now have the South African variant here.

“And then the prime minister flexing the rules on his bike. It’s not a good example.”

The usually busy Farnham Road car park was nearly deserted with an estimated 5% spaces being used.

Data from mobile phones and ticket sales show driving has been reduced by 31% compared to a baseline in January 2020 and public transport use by a huge 64%

Little movement in North Street.

A Guildford Borough Council traffic enforcement officer said that there was less than 5% of the car park spaces occupied across the town.

She said that they were trying to be more lenient with parking tickets but added: “We are enforcing as usual in the town centre but leaving residential areas alone unless we get a complaint.”

Plenty of trains, just no passengers at Guildford railway station.

Passenger numbers on trains was reported to have fallen by more than 90% during the lockdown in October. With the government bearing the cost of reduced passenger numbers, train services will start to be cut from Monday to reflect the lower numbers.

Peak services will be prioritised to help key workers said the Rail Delivery Group.

A lonely looking Guildford Cathedral on Stag Hill has reluctantly had to close to the public.

In line with most churches in Guildford, the cathedral is now only providing services online. The chief operating officer at Guildford Cathedral, Matt O’Grady, said they had taken the difficult decision yesterday to close the cathedral to the public.

Recognising the government’s appeal to stay at home except for essential journeys, he said: “If we remained open, we may, inadvertently, be communicating an invitation to leave home.”

Masses at St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Eastgate Gardens were all being streamed online. The website did show on option to book a place in the church for mass services.

Food shops and many takeaways were still trading but with footfall down, they were quiet.

Friary Street takeaways are open but few takers were seen.

Lily Deluca’s new coffee stall set up in old telephone boxes in Tunsgate. “We started three weeks ago and are doing well,” said Lily, pictured with helper Alessandro Carosi.

Dominic Male in Partisan cheesemongers said there were fewer people in the town adding “We are still open and doing deliveries”.

Last word to Richard Green who was in the High Street doing his shopping. “Everybody thinks they can do it better than the government but my blood pressure goes up when I hear about Boris Johnson.”

He added an afterthought: “But then again, that goes for all politicians.”

Richard Green in the High Street said his blood pressure rises when he thinks of politicians.

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Responses to Town Quiet In Lockdown 3 As Covid ‘Gets More Serious’

  1. Jules Cranwell Reply

    January 16, 2021 at 12:47 pm

    Given the lack of footfall, it would make sense for the High Sreet to be open all day to traffic, given one of the vaccination centres is half-way up, Superdrug.

    I drove an elderly gent there yesterday in the Horsley bus but had to leave him at the barrier, to walk up in the driving rain.

    Editor’s comment: GBC council leader Joss Bigmore has now said that the barrier will be left open to facilitate access.

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