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Portobello Road
Photograph: QQ7/Shutterstock

West London is closing streets to use them for outdoor eating and drinking

Kensington & Chelsea will pedestrianise some roads this summer for outdoor dining, drinking and shopping

Written by
Chris Waywell
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The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea stretches across a huge swathe of central and west London. It’s got some of the capital’s fanciest addresses in it but there’s no doubt that when there’s a W in the postcode, the car is king, yah? So it’s pretty heartening to learn that the borough is actually planning on closing some of its streets to traffic this coming summer to allow them to be used for shopping, eating and drinking. Jolly decent of them. 

Chelsea’s Elystan Street (between the King’s Road and Brompton Road), Pavilion Road (parallel to Sloane Street) and Bute Street (near South Kensington tube station) will all be closed to motor vehicles under the plans. In addition, Portobello Road in Notting Hill will be closed to vehicular traffic on market days to encourage the return of stallholders and shoppers.

The RBKC road closures coincide with the government announcement that eating and drinking venues would be able to apply for temporary pavement licences through to September 2022 to help hospitality businesses increase customer numbers by being able to offer outdoor seating and extra seats to ensure social distancing. 

So, good news all round for shoppers, pedestrians, dog-walkers, children, pavement drinkers and basically almost everyone. Bad news for drivers of needlessly massive 4x4s in Lavenham gilets. You might have to go off-road for once.

Woop! Pubs can call their car parks ‘terraces’ now.

Best outdoor London restaurants.

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