Sadiq Khan urges government to give London's pubs more pavement space

24 June 2020, 17:32

By Fiona Jones

Sadiq Khan told LBC he is "excited" that London's pubs and restaurants may be given more pavement space during the pandemic in a "never seen before" pedestrianisation of the capital.

Regions across the country have been considering pedestrianising more areas and allowing more pavement space for outside drinking and dining to enable socially distancing.

Shelagh Fogarty asked the Mayor of London if there are plans to pedestrianise the capital.

"It's so important, this is a lifeline for businesses," Sadiq Khan said, "I've been speaking to central government to ask them to relax where possible licensing rules and planning rules because councils are keen to support businesses."

Being able to put tables outside would enable pubs and restaurants to bring in money, he remarked.

"We're working really closely with businesses and with the councils and lobbying the government. I welcome the central government looking at this constructively.

Sadiq Khan confirms the government are looking "constructively" at allowing more pavement space
Sadiq Khan confirms the government are looking "constructively" at allowing more pavement space. Picture: PA/LBC

"We've got to realise, particularly because the weather is so good, we can support businesses," Mr Khan said.

He said he "absolutely" expects whole areas of the capital to be pedestrianised during the pandemic "in a safe and sensible way.

"This has never been seen before and I think it will be quite exciting," Mr Khan said.

Separately, the Mayor of London told LBC he'd like to leave City Hall to save north of £55 million and would rather give the money to frontline services.

"How can I justify paying the taxpayer's money... to a landlord for a pretty building?" he said, acknowledging he would be accused of being "negligent" if he did not take advantage of the break clause in the contract.