Portobello Road Market
Portobello Road Market in west London.

Following trials of car free periods, the council has confirmed the closure of Portobello Road during market operating hours.

The council said the measures are designed “to improve visitors’ experience – increasing mobility and space for shoppers, improve local air quality and reduce carbon emissions”.

Reaction from dealers to the new access rules has been mixed. Some traders have been unhappy as it limits the time they can drop off and pick up their stock while their clients have not been able to drive directly to shops or arcades in business hours.

However, the Portobello Antique Dealers’ Association is supporting the changes. Costas Kleanthous, chairman of the PADA, said: “We’ve been asking for this for years. It was very dangerous when cars were coming down and there were even joyriders. We are very glad this change is now in place and it has our full approvable as it allows for deliveries to be made in the morning and late afternoon and still allows some resident access.”

Cllr Johnny Thalassites, lead member for planning, place and the environment, said: Reducing vehicle emissions in the area will also improve air quality for residents and traders. Becoming more environmentally-friendly is something we as a council are dedicated to with our aim to become net carbon zero by 2030.”

Vehicles will not be able to access Portobello Road between Westbourne Grove and Cambridge Gardens from 10am to 4pm Monday to Thursday and between Cambridge Gardens and Golborne Road on Fridays and Saturdays.

However Blue Badge holders and those with disabilities will be able to access the road for pick up and drop off and residents who can only get into their homes via Portobello Road will also be allowed access.

Markets Plan

Following a recent Markets Plan consultation, the council is considering a range of measures to introduce improvements to markets across the borough, as part of a five-year plan.

As part of this, special Christmas Portobello markets will be running on Sundays throughout December to offer an extra day of festive shopping. Portobello Road will be closed on a temporary basis during opening hours on these select Sundays.

The council is also planning to make outdoor dining permanent on streets in the area following a trial scheme during the pandemic. A six-week consultation for feedback has been opened on options including approving pavement licenses for up to five years and offering seasonal or year-round outside dining.

The consultation is available on the RBKC website.