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Great Suffolk Street to host London’s first Open Streets event

After a couple of false starts last year, Southwark will this month host London's first Open Streets event.

Great Suffolk Street to host London’s first Open Streets event
Great Suffolk Street to host London’s first Open Streets event

On Saturday 30 May Great Suffolk Street will be closed to motor traffic between 11am and 4pm.

Southwark Bridge Road will remain open to traffic during the event which will stretch from the Southwark Street junction in the north to the Toulmin Street junction in the south.

The event's theme is 'Made in Southwark' and dozens of local businesses and organisations will be using the traffic-free space in creative ways.

Local community groups will showcasing activiites ranging from bee keeping to street theatre and football to Ecuadorian dancing.

The street will be divided into seven themed zones Relaxation, Fitness, Arts, Kids, Dance, Bike and Discovery – each with their own programme of activities.

The event is inspired by a a worldwide movement of 200 similar initiatives around the world.

The Open Streets Trust tried to stage events in Blackfriars Road and Southwark Street last summer but logistical and financial difficulties proved insurmountable.

This year – using funds allocated in 2014 by Borough, Bankside & Walworth Community Council – the trust is staging an event in Great Suffolk Street – a choice of location which doesn't interfere with any bus routes.

Supporters of regular Open Streets-style events in the capital received a boost last autumn when Mayor of London Boris Johnson visited Jakarta and declared himself "blown away" by the car-free Sunday in that city and promised to press Transport for London to consider what could be done in London.

Open Streets London is still seeking volunteers for the event. To get involved or ask questions, email gss@openstreetslondon.com

See the event listing for Open Streets London on Saturday 30 May.

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