Pavements in several Powys towns are to be widened to allow people to shop safely, the council has said.

Temporary barriers and cones will be used to remove on-street parking, which will allow people to give one another space on the shopping streets – although disabled parking bays will remain.

Some roads will also be closed to traffic – except for access – the council said.

The authority was allocated £600,000 from the Welsh Government on Friday to help make streets safer, and is now starting to release details of how it will go about giving people space to shop while social distancing.

Work to introduce temporary pavement widening in some towns across Powys is due to start shortly. The infrastructure will allow people to social distance more safely when visiting - and queueing for - shops and, in turn, allow businesses to safely get back to work sooner.

Powys Council is considering placing temporary barriers and cones, where necessary, in the main shopping streets in Machynlleth, Llanidloes, Newtown, Welshpool, Llanfyllin –although this is to be confirmed – Llandrindod Wells, Presteigne, Knighton, Rhayader, Builth Wells and Hay on Wye.

Brecon, Crickhowell and Ystradgynlais will also receive these measures.

Councillor Heulwen Hulme, the cabinet member responsible for the work, said: "Like many other councils across the UK, we are taking this action to make it easier for people to socially distance when they are in town centres.

"As we know, some of our town centres have narrow pavements which don't lend themselves to safe social distancing without walking on the road. As road traffic increases we need to introduce safe spaces for people to walk."

She added: "These measures will also make it easier for businesses to cope with people who may need to queue outside their premises, so as to comply with social distancing. It may mean that some businesses will be able to get back to work sooner than they would otherwise.

"You may have seen similar arrangements in large towns and cities across the UK however we know that our small rural towns will have different needs and this will mean different solutions for Powys 'high streets'."

An acting liaison officer will be speaking to town councils and the local community during the coming weeks.

Once those bigger towns have their initial, temporary systems in place, the council will look at other communities in the county.

Welsh Government introduced emergency legislation and a funding stream in May to allow this work to take place.