COMMENT: More than 60,000 visitors on a summer Saturday, one of the most popular tourist spots in the UK, a name so recognised internationally that the local council wants to brand a Crossrail station after it... there are plenty of reasons to protect Portobello‘s antiques trade.
So why does it always have to play second
fiddle to sporting events, considering how much it adds to the
Many Portobello traders are feeling under
siege. Following arcade closures, pressure for seven-day trading,
parking restrictions and the effects of recession, now they face
police coverage that has been steadily downgraded.
The latest moves suggest that dealers'
pressure is working, but it seems clear that at a time when
spending cuts are affecting the police, like everyone else, the Met
do not see Portobello as a priority. Indeed, their comment to ATG
this week suggests that they feel reports of robberies are
Is there really much of a problem?
With UK manufacturing in massive decline and
financial services tottering, tourism is - and has to be - a major
earner. If antiques dealers gradually disappear from Portobello,
are those tourists still going to be heading there to experience
that wonderful atmosphere?
Surely Crossrail would want to make sure an area they were going
to locate a new station in was adequately policed before agreeing
to the measure.