Letter to Wansteadium: Close Wanstead High Street


A radical suggestion from Wansteadium reader Dan:

Like most people I am missing my family and social interaction. One key area is having a meal and meeting friends and family for a light drink and chat.

Given the social distancing constraints this has meant closing all of our lovely bars and restaurants in Wanstead.

If social distancing restrictions lift many of our bars and restaurants are too small to allow for effective social distancing. However if we allow the high street to close during evenings during  the summer months we could go alfresco using the pavement for tables and the road as a walkway for pedestrians. Do you think this is something we could get some support from the local community. Happy to chat through with anyone.

Kind regards

19 thoughts on “Letter to Wansteadium: Close Wanstead High Street”

  1. Not sure the residents in nearby roads would agree to all the excess traffic being diverted, how would you get lorries and busses down there.

    1. Basic idea is good but there are many practical issues Peter, as you indicate. Not least is the bus terminus at Woodbine Place. Many depend on the very useful bus services into and out of Wanstead.

    1. Sure diverting traffic around the high street for the summer evening isn’t that difficult and would not cause issues with local roads
      We have Wanstead new road at one end and Cambridge park the other. Both of which are do not have high density housing.
      This would also only be a few nights a week , day Thursday to Sunday evenings

    2. Great idea, Dan, that would create a brilliant atmosphere on the high street, even if it were for just a few evenings a week. There isn’t so much traffic on the high street in the evening so it shouldn’t have a huge impact on neighbouring streets.

  2. If small local cafes and restaurant want to open make it like online shopping – you phone up and they would give you a one hour to one and a half slot and a set time – the longer time you have the more it cost…..

  3. Brilliant idea. Our shops will need all the help they can get. Not just restaurants and bars. I’m happy to put up with a bit of pain to support them.
    When the time is right, it could be trialled without huge effort or disruption I’d have thought.
    One for local councillors to look at perhaps

  4. Great Idea – but we probably need to accommodate the buses, however the idea of a few evenings a week would be very enjoyable.

  5. Great idea even if only Friday And Sat eve. Minor diversion of buses wouldn’t seem too disruptive especially as they are running virtually empty due to advice to avoid public transport

  6. IT looks like quite a few like the idea and our neighbors that have concerns are mainly about keeping the road open for buses.

    if this is the only reason people will object then there is a simple solution,

    Luckily our high street is quite unique , 80% of our high street only has restaurants , Bars and shops on one side,

    Although not as nice as having the high street closed to all traffic which would give it a really nice atmosphere where families could walk without concern, we could keep the road open to buses and cycles. use the side where most of the shops , bars and restaurants as an area where seating can be used and ask pedestrians to use the park side .

    Can anyone see any major issues with this ?


  7. Great idea – might not be able to get it every night but some nights per week would be great and the monthly market could take place in the same way or on Christchurch Green. Problem is probably the Council. Waltham Forest Council are reaching out to people and being proactive. What about Redbridge not had one newsletter to date.

    1. Just pointing out issues re accessibility for emergency services, noise pollution, litter, resident consultation plus don’t most restaurants on the High Street already have provision for outdoor seating? What about businesses such as Otto’s and Filika who are on the other side of the High Street?

      I’d hate walking to the Co-op trying to manoeuvre my way past tables, chairs and people eating. Not for me Dan.

  8. Sorry forgot to add that we need to support ALL businesses on the High Street…if you ask most of them, the main issue is rental charges. Reducing rents whilst businesses get back on their feet would have a bigger impact.

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