A RURAL borough has suspended measures to support the reopening of its two main town centres after the government ordered the wearing of face coverings in shops.

Earlier this month Ribble Valley Council closed Castle Street, Clitheroe to traffic between Moor Lane and King Lane from 10am to 5pm every day and introduced a partial one-way system in Berry Lane Longridge

As part of a campaign to promote safe shopping, public safety signage and bollard sleeves were installed in the centres of the two towns and Whalley with ‘reverse graffiti’ on pavements reminding people to ‘keep their distance’ and ‘respect others’.

Up to two hours free parking was brought in at the council’s short-stay town centre car parks.in Clitheroe and Longridge.

But following the government's move on face coverings on Friday and a council survey asking people’s views on the measures it became evident shoppers were still concerned about the pandemic.

Ribble Valley Council leader Cllr Stephen Atkinson said: “The measures we introduced were in accordance with government guidance on creating a safe shopping environment, but we are putting them on hold for the time being, while the impact of face coverings can be properly understood.”

He added “We will continue to review the situation and if necessary the measures will be reinstated to create a safe shopping environment.”