Helston must "not resort to ugliness" says the town's mayor as changes are made to the closure of Meneage Street.

Today marks the start of the second week of the initial three-week road closure to aid social distancing.

However, following a number of concerns raised by businesses there will now be access and on-street parking for disabled drivers, deliveries and some residents. 

It follows a meeting on Friday between a number of town councillors and representatives of Meneage Street businesses, which led to an informal meeting of Helston Town Council on Saturday evening.

At this meeting a number of options were discussed, to ensure public safety and the post Covid-19 reopening of business in Meneage Street.

Mayor John Martin said the priority of the council was the safety of the public, which at this time still requires a social distancing of at least two metres.

"In parts of Meneage Street it is not possible to maintain this distance with the pavements at some points being considerably narrower. This requires people to walk into the road.

"Given that traffic can and does move at up to 30 mph this is not a safe practice," he said.

"There is also considerable difficulty for those who are disabled and use buggies or other walking aids."

As a result the road closure will remain in place from 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday inclusive.

However, there will now be access for disabled blue badge holders into Meneage Street, enabling them to park in the street.

There will also be access for delivery drivers to Meneage Street, as well as residents who were issued with passes for last week.

Helston Town Council will continue to pay for the first hour for people who park in Trengrouse Way or Tyacke Road Cornwall Council car parks. The 60p charge can be reclaimed at The Guildhall or from certain businesses that will subsequently claim from the council.  

Mr Martin added: "There have been concerns raised that the road closure notice could be in place for 18 months.

"This is not the intention of Helston Town Council, but is in accordance with the legislation that the notice was issued under."

He went on to say: "This was far from an easy decision for the town councillors, but the majority decision was that the only viable option, to ensure the safety of the public on Meneage Street with regards to social distancing, was for the road closure to continue at this time.

"In addition, with the pubs, cafes, restaurants, hairdressers and barbers opening from July 4, along with tourists being allowed to visit, we anticipate a significant increase in footfall making social distancing all but impossible unless the road is closed. 

"We fully appreciate that some businesses are strongly against this decision, however, we have to act in the best interests of everyone including all businesses, residents and visiting tourists.

"Pubs, cafes and restaurants will be able to have chairs outside on the road, whilst respecting social distancing, ensuring that these businesses can be more commercially viable in these difficult times."

Mr Martin also said the "abuse" of stewards overseeing the road closure must stop.

"There has been a lot of abuse directed towards the stewards of the road closure.

"The stewards are volunteers, and do not deserve this abuse. It must stop.

"We must all work together, in a respectful manner, and not resort to ugliness including on social media.

"We all want the best for Helston. We all want everyone to be safe in our town, and we all want businesses to survive in these unprecedented times.

"It is, and will continue, to be difficult. We will continue to monitor the situation.

"Please, we must work together, constructively," he added.