Restaurateurs call on Sadiq Khan to champion London town

06 August 2020 by
Restaurateurs call on Sadiq Khan to champion London town

A letter to Sadiq Khan from some of London's most prominent restaurateurs has urged the Mayor to champion London town, which they say "is at a critical point".

The letter is by St John restaurateur Trevor Gulliver and co-signed by Michel Roux Jnr, Angela Hartnett, Margot Henderson and Yotam Ottolenghi, among others. It urges Khan to champion London town ("shout out that we in town are organised" and "ready and waiting to entertain and delight"), drop the congestion charge and push for confidence in the city's public transport.

It said: "Our transport system is arguably the best of the world's great cities, that you seem to have no wish to use or celebrate this as a route to recovery seems a dereliction of responsibility… let the world and the suburbs and the home counties see that we are getting ready to welcome back ALL and will impose the necessary practices to make the environment as safe as we can.

"Everyone has a part to play; have folk available (quite a lot of folk out there are and will be looking for work) to make the very best of their visit, at attractions, stations, in our public places."

It comes at a time when the city has been hit by the 'triply whammy' of the loss of inbound tourism, leisure and business travel, and revenues reportedly still down 80% despite July's reopening.

Only around 50% of offices in London are reported to be planning a return to the workplace before the end of the year, a move which will continue to impact negatively on the sector, while the increase and extension of the congestion charge have been described as yet another "hammer blow" to the industry.

The letter added: "London town lies at the heart of the greater City. It dies, the rest follows. The core of our particular apple must be saved before it is too late. Please come out, open the gate and tend the orchard."

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