EASTLEIGH'S town centre will remain closed to vehicles following a meeting last night.

Eastleigh Local Area Committee (ELAC) last night unanimously agreed to continue to keep the two main town centre roads closed until April 2021.

They say this is to help maintain the safety of shoppers and visitors to the town.

This comes after a petition was submitted by the Eastleigh Town Centre Action Group (ETCAG) to Eastleigh Borough Council arguing against the road closures in High Street and Market Street that have been in place since June 15.

The petition that contained more than 2,000 signatures claimed that businesses were losing customers as a result of the road closures and struggling to survive in an already difficult period for the high-street.

With the current rise in incidents of Covid-19 both nationally and in Hampshire the Council is keen to ensure that social distancing is maintained in the town centre.

Chair of ELAC Councillor Tina Campbell said: "The safety of local residents, shoppers and visitors to the town centre is paramount.

"The continued closure of the roads together with other social distancing measures in our town will help to create a safe trading environment for businesses and shoppers.

"We want to ensure that everyone who uses our town centre is confident they have safe space in which to shop and walk around.

"It's important that shops and businesses are supported in this way while protecting Public Health which is as always our number one priority."

Councillor Margaret Atkinson supported the petition by ETCAG and said: "As a life-long resident of Eastleigh Borough I am very saddened to see how quiet the town centre has recently become. 
"Without all businesses opening and being able to trade successfully there will not be a full recovery for Eastleigh Town Centre."