Church Street traders have spoken in favour of a permanent pedestrianisation of the Twickenham hotspot.
Church Street was pedestrianised on June 22 because of COVID, and Richmond Council have begun consulting over making the move permanent.
Bruce Lyons, 86, member of the street’s Traders’ Association and owner of Crusaders Travel, spoke in favour of the move.
Lyons said increased footfall the main reason for his support.
He added: The lockdown was lifted in July and the street just buzzed.”
Lyons has run the family travel agents’ with his wife Heather and daughter Shona since 1966 and has spoken of the family’s fondness for Church Street.
He said: “We’re passionate about the street.
“I’ve been here since ‘66, so it’s our home.”
He added he has seen many calls for pedestrianisation over the years but COVID was the tipping point for his support for the move.
Despite Lyons’ support, he saw some traders oppose the move in June due to concerns over delivery access but was quick to mention that the street is only 150 metres long making access on foot easy.
He added: A couple of traders were quite vociferous in their resistance to the idea.
“But on the other hand, they, they chose not to remember that there was no footfall anyway because of COVID.”
Lyons is not the only Church Street trader who supported the call to make the change permanent.
Alex Powell, 45, and Denis Radic, 29, are the owners of the Brewery Market pub and also spoke in favour of the pedestrianisation.
They said: “Church Street is not very important for traffic anyway.
“The pedestrianisation really helps business.”
Richmond Council’s online consultation finishes on November 22 and to facilitate this, the temporary changes to the street have been extended to January 2021.
Cllr Alexander Ehmann, Chair of Richmond Council’s Transport and Air Quality Committee, said: “The charm of the space has been enhanced with the reduction in noise and with the provision of space to amble.
“If you would like to see these measures introduced permanently – please let us know.”
You can express your views on the consultation here.
Church Street was also the site of some street concerts broken up by police earlier in the month, which you can read about here.