London’s celebrated Portobello Market on Portobello Road in the west of the city will be closed to cars during trading hours as part of Kensington and Chelsea Council’s efforts to keep the streets and hugely popular antiques market safe for everyone post-lockdown.The road has previously been closed to traffic on Saturdays only. A statement from the Council said, “As traders return and lockdown eases a daily closure will be in place so that people can enjoy the market while staying two metres apart, to help limit the spread of coronavirus.”Traders had been given three months’ rent relief by the Council but with lockdown expected to ease for non-essential retailers from June, stallholders are expecting to return to their pitches.Councillor Johnny Thalassites, lead member for planning and transport, said, “Closing our world-famous Portobello Road to traffic will keep shoppers and traders safe as the lockdown eases and the market returns. This is the first of many measures to make sure Kensington and Chelsea remains a destination. Now is the time to innovate to help the borough bounce back so we’ll be fast-tracking planned work and putting in new schemes to make sure walking and cycling are safe and attractive options, protecting our people and our economy.”In the coming weeks the Council will go further to support the local economy to get moving and to help people walk and cycle safely, with public transport capacity much lower than before the pandemic struck. The Council will be applying for Transport for London funding to introduce speed restrictions, new and improved walking and cycling routes and safe shopping and school streets.Portobello Road closure will be in place 10am-4pm Monday to Saturday from Monday 8 June and the Council has written to residents and traders.
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