ON-street parking spaces in Inverclyde town centres are being restricted to give more room for pedestrians.
The temporary measures to allow physical distancing have been introduced as the lifting of coronavirus pandemic rules allows more shops to open.
Inverclyde Council says the aim is to “safely stimulate the economy”.
Streets affected include:
Kilmacolm -– Lochwinnoch Road, Market Place and the small section of Bridge of Weir Road where the shops are.
Port Glasgow -– Princes Street, Church Street and John Wood Street.
Greenock – West Blackhall Street, Laird Street, Jamaica Street, Nicolson Street and Westburn Street. (To offset the loss of parking within Greenock town centre, parking restrictions will be removed from Dalrymple Street which will provide 60 parking spaces.)
Gourock –- Shore Street and Kempock Street.
Loading bays and disabled parking places will still be available.
An Inverclyde Council spokesperson said: “On Monday, the Scottish Government permitted the reopening of non-essential shops with outdoor access, but only if the two-metre social-distancing rule can be adhered to.
“With that in mind, temporary measures have been introduced to help support businesses in Inverclyde’s town and village centres with physical distancing to ensure the safety of shoppers, staff, motorists and the wider public, as well as a safe and sustained restart of the local economy.
“Pavements in these areas pre-date social-distancing and therefore the two-metre rule can be difficult to adhere to, especially when people may have to queue outside shops because of limits on the number of customers allowed inside at any one time and increased footfall due to the easing of lockdown restrictions. Pavements will be busier and we also have a duty to protect the most vulnerable people in our communities who have had to stay indoors during lockdown for a variety of reasons but may now be tentatively stepping outside for the first time in several months.
“That is why temporary parking restrictions were put in place on our high streets, simply to extend the space outside shops to allow people to keep their distance safely without having to walk out onto oncoming traffic. Additional or alternative parking spaces are available nearby and parking enforcement remains suspended until August to support businesses and residents.
“Council staff have been monitoring the situation closely since shops reopened on Monday morning and have been listening to feedback. In light of that, some of the temporary measures have been lifted or adjusted to reflect the level of footfall. The council will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments at individual locations where necessary.
“The number one priority is the safety of Inverclyde residents and the continued suppression of the deadly coronavirus (Covid-19), which has already caused so much heartache in our communities. As more businesses begin to reopen and footfall increases, this takes on even greater importance.
“We continue to work in partnership with a variety of individuals, groups and organisations to assist with the safe restart of the Inverclyde economy.”