A large section of the square mile area of London is to be made completely free of traffic for one day in December to help boost Christmas trading.
Cheapside is to be completely pedestrianised on Saturday December 3rd 2011 between 10:00 GMT and 18:00 GMT, in order to make the local shopping attractions more accessible to consumers in the capital.
The City of London shopping areas of Cheapside, Leadenhall Market, One New Change, Royal Exchange and department store House of Fraser have collaborated on the plan, which will create a unique walking route stretching from St Paul’s Cathedral to Poultry.
It will be the first time that an event like this has ever been staged in the area and the first time that either Leadenhall Market or the Royal Exchange opened for business on a Saturday.
Ruth Duston, Director of the Cheapside initiative, said: “Cheapside is delighted to be able to showcase its great retail offer with a one day, traffic free event in the heart of the square mile. The day will host an array of street entertainment, Festive walks and a range of activity - something for all of the family.
“This event will provide a truly unique shopping experience and the chance to indulge in the city’s rich cultural and heritage offer.
“See why Dickens chose this part of historic London as inspiration for his famous book - A Christmas Carol. What better place to start the festive season and soak up the spirit of Christmas under the sound of Bow Bells!”
Since opening a year ago, the visually impressive One New Change shopping centre has been trying to reverse a decades’ old trend of the City of London being deserted of shoppers at the weekend.
This latest initiative will be seen as another step towards that goal, helping to secure some of the valuable seasonal trading spend for this historic area.
Robert Goodman, Centre Director for One New Change, said: “When winter sets in, London transforms into one of the most festive cities in the world, and we assure you that the City of London will make that experience even more magical.
“Only here will you find the grandeur of St Paul’s, the romance of Victorian London and cutting edge shopping and dining all in one place.”