Portobello market.jpg
Portobello market in west London is home to may antiques dealers.

Kensington and Chelsea Council announced the plan for the west London tourist attraction as part of a series of measures to aid businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Stallholders and shops are expected to be able to reopen from June and July, according to the latest guidance from government.

The road has previously been closed to traffic on Saturdays only.

In a statement the council said: “As traders return and lockdown eases, a daily closure will be in place so that people can enjoy the market while staying two metres apart, to help limit the spread of coronavirus.”

The street is home to antiques dealers who trade from stands inside indoor markets and shops, and some stalls in the road, and mainly trade on Friday and Saturdays each week.

Costas Kleanthous, chairman of Portobello Antiques Dealers Association, said: “I think the proposal by RBKC is very sensible and we welcome it. It would be to the benefit of both traders and customers as well as the usual sightseers and strollers.”

He added that “considering the much-increased traffic in the market in recent years”, the road should become pedestrian-only between 10am-4pm (except for residents) “every day from now on”.

Portobello market3.1.jpg

A vintage fur stand at Portobello market in west London.

Cllr Johnny Thalassites, lead member for planning and transport at the council, said: “Closing our world-famous Portobello Road to traffic will keep shoppers and traders safe as the lockdown eases and the market returns. This is the first of many measures to make sure Kensington and Chelsea remains a destination.

“We are fast-tracking planned work and putting in new schemes to make sure walking and cycling are safe and attractive options, protecting our people and our economy.”

The council said traders had been given three months’ rent relief and that stallholders are expecting to return to their pitches from June or July.

Read Antiques Trade Gazette’s latest update on business reopening plans in England here.