Further security arrangements to protect Christmas shoppers

16 December 2021

Chester’s bollards will continue to be raised in the final days before Christmas to offer added security for shoppers looking for a last-minute gift or enjoying a festive gathering.

The bollards at the Town Hall Kiosk, St. John’s Street, Bridge Street, and Watergate Street are currently raised in the ‘up’ position, seven days a week, from 10.30am to 10pm until the closure of the Christmas market on 22 December.

The Council, working in partnership with Cheshire Police, has decided to leave them up until 8pm each night on 23 and 24 December as the city centre is expected to be busy with Christmas shoppers and large crowds.

Councillor Karen Shore, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, said: 

“With the wider security issues nationally and the threat level increasing to severe, we must ensure crowds in the city’s central streets continue to be protected every day. We expect Chester city centre to be very busy with Christmas shoppers in the final two days before Christmas. Therefore, we have taken the decision to continue having the bollards raised in the up position in the evenings for another two days to offer further protection to the public of Chester and the business community within this area of the city. Our improved parking and support services offer for blue badge holders and disabled people remains in place for these two additional days.”

Chief Superintendent Martin Cleworth said: 

“The bollards help to ensure our streets are safer for shoppers, visitors, residents and workers and we continue to work with our partners, the council, businesses and the public to disrupt criminal and terrorist activity. These bollards are just part of an overall plan across Cheshire together with overt armed policing to further enhance our safety measures which I hope is reassuring for all, especially in the run up to Christmas, which as we know, is our busiest time for the city. We have said for many years that communities defeat terrorism, and the help and support we get from the public is a vital part of that. So we would urge everyone to remain vigilant, and if you do see anything suspicious then please report it, in confidence, to police via 101 or 999 or the Anti-terrorist hotline or gov.uk/ACT. It won’t ruin lives, but it may well save them.”

The only vehicles allowed access during these hours up to 24 December will be for exceptional and pre-arranged circumstances. These include bridal cars attending weddings at the Grosvenor Hotel, funeral cars attending funerals at Chester Cathedral, emergency service vehicles, emergency utility works vehicles and Council waste collection vehicles. 

Blue badge holders, hotel guests, businesses, deliveries and residents will not have access during these hours. There is a range of alternative parking available in multi storey car parks, Hamilton Place, Frodsham Street, Weaver Street and on roads outside the central streets for blue badge holders affected by this change. In addition the improved parking and support services offer for blue badge holders and disabled people will remain in place for these two additional days.

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