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Petition organised by Soho Estates calls for 'Soho Al Fresco' ahead of Super Saturday

02 July 2020 by

Westminster Council has announced temporary pedestrianised zones in up to 20 streets to give restaurant operators extra space to serve diners at outdoor seating when they reopen on 4 July.

A petition organised by Soho Estates has been calling for 'Soho Al Fresco' and has been signed by more than 6,560 people. It is thought that the petition prompted Westminster Council to announce the pedestrianised zones.

The selected streets, including Bateman, Frith and Old Compton, will be closed to vehicles from 5pm-11pm Monday to Friday and from midday on Saturdays and Sundays. The move is part of the council's Covid-19 Response project to help local businesses recover.

The campaign hoped the new temporary measures would have the potential to protect Soho businesses and be welcomed by the public.

Last month Westminster Council called the hospitality industry "the lifeblood of Westminster's economy" and outlined plans to help the sector reopen by unlocking outdoor space.

The news follows the government's proposed Business and Planning Bill which would allow operators across England to apply for 'fast-track' pavement licenses to serve food and drink outdoors.

Speaking to The Caterer in May, chef-restaurateur Stevie Parle, who owns Pastaio in Soho's Ganton Street, which is pedestrianised after 11am, said he was in favour of pedestrianisation as long as businesses remained accessible for everyone.

Photo: Shutterstock

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