The Government this week gave the green light for this to happen across the country under strict coronavirus social distancing guidance.
City of Wolverhampton Council is working with city partners, including the Wolverhampton Business Improvement District (BID), Bilston BID and police as well as retailers across 5 key shopping areas: city centre, Bilston, Wednesfield, Tettenhall and Dudley Road.
The city centre’s shopping core, Dudley Street, will see significant changes for pedestrians.
A central one-way walking route will be in place, with shoppers encouraged to keep left and stay apart.
New street signage will also provide guidance for visitors across all 5 of the key shopping areas.
Stewards and BID ambassadors will be in place in the city centre to assist shop owners and visitors, and the council’s environmental health and trading standards team will be supporting businesses across Wolverhampton as they gradually begin reopening from Monday and over the coming weeks.
Businesses should check Reopening Wolves for all the latest guidance and support available to them regarding reopening. This web page also includes a range of posters produced by the council for businesses to download and print to inform customers as the city begins to reopen.
Regular cleansing will be carried out by the council’s street cleaning team.
The council’s public toilets in Bilston, Wednesfield, Tettenhall Park and West Park will reopen from Monday, while the city centre (Victoria Street) toilet will reopen on Wednesday.
All measures will be monitored, and additional measures or alterations will be made where required (some activities will be funded by the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund from the Cities and Local Growth Unit (CLGU) grant provided by the European Regional Development Fund).
There will be traffic restrictions on Dudley Street and in Bilston on the High Street and Church Street, with traffic management in place for deliveries at certain times. Full details of these can be found at Emergency Highways Changes.
Motorists visiting the city centre are also urged to check the latest changes to the road layout as the council responds to urgent Government calls to encourage more walking and cycling. Full details: City Centre road changes to encourage cycling and walking.
Free parking will remain in council car parks and on-street bays until Monday 22 June, with the re-introduction of parking charges currently under review.
Bus passengers across the city are advised to visit West Midlands Network to see the new locations of bus stops.
City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Environment, Councillor Steve Evans, said: “A lot of hard work and planning by the council and its partners is going into making the reopening of Wolverhampton as safe and smooth as possible for shops and visitors.
“Coronavirus means we are living in constantly changing times and our shopping areas, particularly the city centre, will look very different to people from next week.
“The most important thing is that businesses and visitors to these areas stick firmly to the Government’s social distancing and hygiene guidance guidelines.
“It is going to take a lot of getting used to and everyone using the key shopping areas needs to remain patient during this transition.”
Wolverhampton BID Director, Cherry Shine, added: “We are excited to welcome back more of our retail businesses and would like to thank all the essential businesses for continuing to trade through the lockdown.
“We are working with the council to make sure safe distancing measures introduced into our city centre are appropriate and give shoppers and visitors the confidence to revisit our city.
“Our Ambassador team look forward to seeing more customers and shoppers in the centre. To keep up to date with shop openings and their latest information we will be sharing any updates as we receive them from businesses on our Enjoy Wolverhampton Face Book page.
“Welcome back to our much missed retailers, we look forward to all of our city centre businesses reopening as the government makes further announcements.”
BID Manager for Bilston, Simon Archer, said: "These measures will make it inconvenient for some traders and suppliers, but the safety of our shoppers and workers is paramount. We hope everyone appreciates the need for flexibility at this difficult time."
Wolverhampton Police Chief Superintendent, Andy Beard, said: “Over the past twelve weeks, the vast majority of the public have shown great understanding, patience and compliance with the Government’s restrictions. The way we all shop at supermarkets has changed. I feel sure that as the wider retailers now return, we will see the same level of understanding by everyone.
“The measures that the city council, BIDs and businesses have put in place across our retail areas will help this cultural change.
“Officers and PCSOs will continue to be on patrol in key locations across Wolverhampton, engaging, explaining and encouraging compliance with the revised restrictions.”
The project is receiving up to £234,488 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit GOV.UK.