Pedestrian zones clear the way for outdoor dining on Brick Lane

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Parts of Brick Lane will be temporarily pedestrianised next week to provide safe spacing for walking and outdoor seating for restaurant customers. The temporary closure is being delivered by Tower Hamlets Council using funding from the Department for Transport. 

From Thursday 27 August, sections of the iconic street will be closed to vehicles to promote social distancing while providing a timely boost to restaurants facing some of the most challenging trading conditions for a generation. 

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: "It's great to see East End businesses slowly returning to normal, albeit with the necessary safety guidelines to protect staff and customers. 

"We hope that the offer of outdoor seating, greenery and more space for pedestrians will encourage residents and visitors to support local shops, markets and businesses." 

Brick Lane’s restaurants have made sure to follow all appropriate Covid-19 safety guidelines since the lifting of the lockdown, but visitors have been slow to return.  

Under new rules, food businesses can now apply for a licence for table service outdoors which will allow them to welcome more customers in a safe environment throughout the Bank Holiday weekend and beyond.  

It is hoped the change in layout will see an increase in footfall and a boost for the area's eclectic mix of restaurants, cafes and shops.  

Any eligible business wishing to apply to put tables and chairs outside in the pedestrianised areas should email streetmarkets@towerhamlets.gov.uk to apply. 

The changes mean there will be no motor vehicle access on Brick Lane between the following junctions until Thursday 5 November: 

  • Chicksand Street and Fashion Street 
  • Fournier Street and Princelet Street 
  • Princelet Street and Hanbury Street 
  • Buxton Street and Pedley Street

Access will be retained on the side streets for deliveries and essential services. A temporary one-way system will be in place on Fashion St, Fournier St and Princelet St to aid the traffic flow. 

Brick Lane 27 August 2020

Councillor Motin Uz-Zaman, Cabinet Member for Work and Economic Growth, said: “Brick Lane is synonymous with great food and drink as well as its popular street art and markets. 

“Local businesses need our support now more than ever and I’m pleased that we’re able to make this change. I’d encourage those who own food businesses along the street to take advantage of the closure by applying for a pavement licence today.” 

Diners can also take advantage of up to 50 per cent off their bill (up to £10 per diner) through the Eat Out to Help scheme every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at participating businesses until 31 August 2020. Terms and conditions apply.

Posted on Monday 17th August 2020