London's West End to be pedestrianised for outdoor summer dining

harrys bar james street 

If you've been wondering how on earth restaurants in the centre of London are going to reopen, when restrictions lift next month, well we now have more of a clue.

Westminster Council today published a detailed document listing the measures they're planning on taking to help businesses reopen - particularly those in the hospitality industry - while also adhering to current government guidelines on social distancing.

Earlier this month we reported on a campaign by Soho restaurants to get Westminster to allow them to pedestrianise Soho. It seems they've had some success. Today the council says that they will consider timed street closures "where there is a heavy concentration of food and drink retailers [and] extra space is needed for the use of table and chairs."

That said, they won't close streets in predominantly residential areas and there are many extra rules that are aimed to support residents and pedestrians.

Streets being closed (in the evening during the week and from lunchtime onwards at weekends) or widened include:

  • Soho and Covent Garden - temp street closures throughout
  • Oxford Circus - temp closure of James Street and Market Place
  • St James - street widening of Panton St, Jermyn St and Haymarket
  • Marylebone - street widening throughout, temp closure of New Quebec St
  • Leicester Square and Chinatown - widening of streets throughout
  • Paddington - widening of streets throughout

If you can bear it - the full info can be read here

In the meantime, the Soho Steet Festival campaign has welcomed the move - but thinks a little more needs to be done. You can read about that here:

All in all, it's good to see clear measures being taken to help London's hospitality business recover - more of this please!


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