Jul 21, 2020
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New scheme unveiled to temporarily pedestrianise London’s Seven Dials

Jul 21, 2020

London landlord Shaftesbury has revealed a plan to implement temporary road closures in Seven Dials to help boost footfall in the area.

The project, led by Shaftesbury in partnership with Camden Council, is designed to support retailers, restaurants, bars and cafes as they reopen following the easing of lockdown restrictions. 

While non-essential retailers have been allowed to reopen from last month, some areas of central London are still suffering a lack of footfall due to office closures and fewer tourists. Restaurant owners have recently called on London mayor Sadiq Khan and PM Boris Johnson to take more action to encourage people back into the city centre.

Shaftesbury is hoping that the temporary pedestrianisation of Seven Dials will reassure shoppers that the area is safe and make the experience more enjoyable.

Timed road closures will be implemented from 10am to 6pm, seven days a week, to put pedestrians and cyclists first during core daytime trading hours for retailers. Expected to come into force on 3 August, the system will be controlled by a combination of droppable or plug-in barriers and the Seven Dials security team.

In addition to the road closures, a one-way system will be implemented for pedestrians visiting Neal’s Yard and additional cycle parking will be installed throughout the estate. Shaftesbury is also in discussion with Camden to allow food operators to utilise Seven Dials’ newly pedestrianised streets to provide additional external seating areas.

Charles Owen, portfolio executive at Shaftesbury, commented: “The timed road closures in Seven Dials are a significant step in helping all our restaurants, bars, cafés and retailers rebuild as the lockdown eases and footfall begins to grow. The combination of open-air streets and, in effect, wider footways, will make Seven Dials an even safer and more enjoyable experience for visitors and residents.”

As part of the initiative, an artist has been recruited to add vibrancy to the traffic-free streets with a series of bold and bright works. 

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