Outdoor dining and one-way traffic to stay in St John's Wood High Street
- Credit: Polly Hancock
Al fresco dining and the one-way traffic system in St John’s Wood High Street will remain in place.
Westminster Council announced the measures, which have been trialled for more than a year, will become permanent following a consultation.
The survey showed that more than 80% of respondents – including to an al fresco scheme in Covent Garden – backed the measures continuing.
Pavement widening, introduced to allow restaurants to serve customers on tables and chairs outdoors, will also remain.
Some residents opposed the "streatery" scheme, citing reduced parking, "unsightly" barriers and alterations to traffic flow.
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Dick Schumacher, chair of the St John's Wood Society, said: "The consultation results confirm what I've sensed from conversations with residents over the last year, that there is strong local support for transforming our high street with wider pavements and permanent outdoor dining space.
“Residents want a high street that is greener and more pedestrian friendly, but still provides parking spaces for visitors from beyond the immediate vicinity.
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"The community looks forward to working with Westminster Council on an appealing design that can help make the St. John's Wood High Street a destination that draws people from across northwest London to our retailers and restaurants.
“I'm grateful for how engaged the council has been with the local community in seeking opinions on this.”
Cllr Matthew Green, Westminster Council’s cabinet member for planning, said “St John's Wood offers world-class eateries on a bustling local high street”.
“We’re really pleased that residents and businesses have voted in favour of keeping al fresco,” Cllr Green said.
“Thanks to residents and businesses working together, Westminster is proud to be able to support the continuation of outdoor dining in these areas.”
Traders wanting to continue serving al fresco have to apply for a new licence, which will be valid for six months from October.
Applications take up to 14 days to process and cost £100. The al fresco scheme in Soho will be removed on October 1.
The council says it “will continue to work with local communities and businesses” to look at permanent outdoor dining measures elsewhere in the borough.