Traders on a busy shopping street in Cardiff say social distancing measures are “dangerous” for pedestrians.
Parking spaces on Wellfield Road were cordoned off in July to make the pavements wider.
While shoppers can queue safely, cafes and restaurants have used the repurposed parking bays for al fresco dining, which some traders say is popular but unsafe.
Cardiff council is in talks with traders to review the current scheme.
Philip Kaye, who has run Toys ‘n’ Things on the street for 32 years, said the majority of businesses who met with the council this week want the current restrictions removed.
But many agree there needs to be a balance to keep the street busy and safe.
“My issues with the current scheme is there’s a lot of businesses being restricted because they lend themselves to ‘drop off and go’. These outlets have suffered tremendously,” said Mr Kaye.
“Without the seating on the street, cafes and restaurants would not have survived the Covid shutdown. It’s to the benefit of certain traders and the detriment of others.”
‘Cars used to get clipped’
Seven Clothing owner Jaymin Patel, who has been on Wellfield Road for more than 15 years, said the current scheme is “definitely not safe”.
“You’ve got people sitting within half a metre of a bus,” said Mr Patel.
“Car windows used to get clipped and knocked off – now those cars have been replaced by pedestrians. It is dangerous.”
He said consultation with traders was vital in finding a solution, adding the council was now taking their views on board.
“When the parking was totally removed we weren’t consulted about it as traders – it’s our livelihoods on the line,” he said.
“It’s definitely going in the right direction to keep traders happy and customers happy.”
He added the street and its traders have already proved their resilience in tough times and are confident about finding “a happy medium”.
“Wellfield Rd is one of the best streets in Cardiff. We’ve already come through one recession, now coronavirus. There’s not one empty unit on the road,” he said.
“My feedback from customers is they have been struggling to get here and asking where they can park. Now I will be able to tell them.”
A Cardiff Council spokesman said: “We are continuing to work with traders on an agreed scheme going forwards and we will be in a position to give further information next week.”