Traffic is set to be banned from Seven Dials for the remainder of 2020.
For a while now, making cities greener and healthier has been a global priority, but the coronavirus pandemic economic downturn seems to accelerate it in London. When Sadiq Khan encourages cycling and walking at every turn, and social distancing makes bus and tube travel trickier, the initiatives of pedestrianisation help to keep city centres car-free and full of people. We’ve already seen it in Soho, where the streets have been filled with outdoor dining, and now Seven Dials will ban traffic, starting on August 3.
Seven Dials – which, famously, is the junction of seven streets which join Covent Garden and Soho – has partnered with Camden Council to bring about the change. From 10 am to 6 pm, seven days per week, the roads heading to Seven Dials will be shut, with restrictions and the site’s security team on hand to enforce them. The pedestrianisation plan, which will be in place until the end of the year, has been designed to provide a safer shopping experience, letting pedestrians and cyclists move around freely without requiring to dodge traffic, on what is a surprisingly busy little roundabout.
In a further effort to encourage Londoners to use pedal power to get to Seven Dials, the number of bicycle parking spaces in the area will be increased, and there are added pandemic-era precautions in place, too. Hand sanitiser stations will be a common sight on your next visit to Seven Dials, while a one-way system has been installed in eccentric neighbour Neals Yard. Seven Dials have indicated at further developments to come, which we’re expecting to see more outdoor restaurants and bars on the closed streets.