Pedestrianising Wood Street is being considered to help business in the area deal with social distancing.

Before the country went into lockdown, Swindon Borough Council agreed to close Wood Street on Friday and Saturday nights. But the closure of the popular Old Town road isn’t a simple task.

Kris Talikowski, vice-chairman of the Old Town Business Association, has been trying to find out what the best solution is.

He believes deliveries and quick trips are key factors in any potential change.

Kris said: “There’s a number of factors to consider. The original closure was proposed by Wiltshire Police to better manage the night-time economy of Wood Street to allow them to get access with emergency vehicles.

“You have a mix of retail and food and beverage on the street and they have different uses and functions.

“One of the concerns is about delivery access.

"Not all of the units on Wood Street have rear access for deliveries and a lot of the business are currently based on a driver coming in, hopping out, getting whatever and going again.

“That wouldn’t exist but people could park in a different car park.”

When Kris spoke to the Adver, he was out talking to current businesses on the road to understand what people want.

He added: “We’ve been consulting businesses trying to come up with some options for our business association meeting on Monday for a consensus to be agreed.

“The compromise will probably be certain times are pedestrianised and it’ll be done through some kind of trial to establish if it works.”

But one business owner believes that pedestrianising the road should be a permanent change.

Craig Gavin, owner of Old Town Thai, believes Wood Street is too busy during the night and it’s only a matter of time before there is a serious incident.

He said: “This is a really important point for me. I see lots of drunk people staggering around Wood Street.

“We have all sorts of boy racers coming here and we’re overrun with taxis. In my opinion, it’s only a matter of time before someone gets seriously hurt because of the amount of people there is in and around Wood Street on the weekend especially.

“There’s great potential for a taxi rank just under the tunnel from Wood Street.

“For a small amount of money it could be transformed.”

Mr Gavin added that getting deliveries shouldn’t be an excuse for not increasing the time the street is closed.

He explained: “How many people have deliveries post 5pm on a Friday?

“Most businesses have all their stock in place before a Friday in preparation for the weekend influx.

“In the week it might be trickier but you could pedestrianise it from midday and all deliveries should come before then.”

Along with making it safer for pedestrians during the night, Mr Gavin believes that all business will benefit.

He added: “I know some people think it would harm the footfall coming to the area but I think the absolute opposite.

“Other businesses will bounce off the increased footfall of people just coming for one thing.”