After a pandemic trial, Britain’s biggest market will prohibit cars from trading during the day to reduce carbon emissions. 

Portobello Road will close in Notting Hill (west London) Between 10am to 4pm Monday through Saturday. This is with the exception of emergency services and Blue Badge holders. Residents who cannot access their homes via this route are also eligible. 

Initially, in April 2020, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea shut down the shop. It was done so experimentally because the council said it would allow for greater mobility and better space for customers and reduce local carbon emissions.

Now it is clear that no vehicles are allowed to enter the road. This applies between Westbourne Grove, Cambridge Gardens, on Monday through Thursday and between Cambridge Gardens, on Fridays, and between Cambridge Gardens, on Saturdays. 

This is part of an overall shift in London’s authorities to be more environmentally-friendly. Other areas have also implemented vehicle-restricting. These low-traffic neighbourhoods were created during the pandemic.

After a pandemic trial, Portobello Road, Notting Hill in west London will be closed to traffic.

Britain's most famous market will ban cars completely in trading hours to slash carbon emissions following a trial in the pandemic

After a pandemic trial, Britain’s biggest market will prohibit cars from trading during the day to reduce carbon emissions.

Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London, 2018. The closure will not impact Blue Badge holders and those with disabilities will be able to access the road for pick up and drop off

Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London, 2018. Blue Badge holders will continue to have full access, while those with disabilities can still use the road.

Picture of Portabello Road market. The famous market will now be closed to all traffic

Portabello Road Market. All traffic will be restricted from the famous Portabello Road market.

Portobello Road Market in west London, May 1973. Portobello Road market is probably the most well known in the country

Portobello Road Market west London, May 1973. Portobello Road is perhaps the most famous market in the country


Portobello Road, which is now home to one world-famous market, several bars, and a variety of shops, has been 300 years old. It was once a narrow country path known as Green Lane. 

It was named Porto Bello Farm nearby, after Porto Bello in Panama which the British seized from Spain in 1739.  

Portobello Road was an unassuming lane connecting Notting Hill and Kensall Green in the South. But over the years, markets and shops sprung up, drawing wealthy shoppers from Paddington. 

The area was home to many wealthy Londoners who wanted to relocate to it. Less spacious homes were rented out to local workers, as they worked for the rich or laborers. 

Notting Hill Station is now called Ladbroke Grove. This opened 1864 and brought about development in the northern part of the district.

Portobello Road was a typical market selling essentials and food, until the 1940s when more ‘rag and bones’ people and antique dealers began selling their goods. 

Portobello was known for its antiques and trading on Saturdays. 

Portobello Road was transformed by gentrification in the late 1980s from being a poor working-class area to becoming one of the most sought-after and wealthiest areas of the country. 

While antiques remain a key factor in this market’s success today, many vintage clothing stores cater to young adults who are wealthy in the region.  

There are many items on the market that can be sold secondhand, such as clothing, household necessities, and antiques. 

Blue Badge holders won’t be affected and people with disabilities will still have access to the roads for pickup and drop-off.

Portobello Road residents who are unable to get in their houses via this road will still be permitted access. Emergency services will also have access.

A judge at the High Court ruled in January that last year’s measures to encourage walking and cycling and reduce traffic as a response to pandemic should have been’substantially modified’. 

London saw the construction of 89 LTNs last year. This resulted in approximately 62 miles worth of cycling routes. 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has told TfL to spend a minimum of £100million on healthy streets in 2021. 

Some authorities in London have begun to use cameras to fine drivers for moving violations. 

Drivers may not be able to read the “no motor vehicles” sign. This is a symbol that shows a motorcycle over a vehicle and is surrounded by a circle of red. It marks the boundaries. It has been used in this manner since 1964, and it is included in the Highway Code.

According to the Department for Transport, the power will be available by the end the year for councils other than London. This has sparked fears about a sharp rise in penalties elsewhere.

MailOnline reported claims in July that motorists had paid 250,000 fines worth £14million in the past year for driving in London’s Low Traffic Neighbourhoods after ‘failing to understand road signs’.

Some drivers don’t understand that ‘no Motor Vehicles’ sign is there – which is an orange circle surrounding a car and a motorbike – it’s used to indicate the boundaries. 

This sign is in compliance with the Highway Code and has been used since 1964.

Portobello Road was decided after consultations with residents, local businesses and traders.

Portobello Road is the best-known market in the country.

The world’s biggest antiques marketplace is it, and the road is named after Porto Bello Farm, the historical farm that was taken by the British in 1739 from Spain as part of War of Jenkins Ear.

Portobello Road served as a rural lane connecting the areas of Kensall Green and Notting Hill for most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Vehicles will not be allowed access to the road between Westbourne Grove and Cambridge Gardens on Monday to Thursday and between Cambridge Gardens and Golborne Road on Fridays and Saturdays

On Monday through Thursday, vehicles will be denied access to the roads between Westbourne Grove & Cambridge Gardens. Friday and Saturday, they’ll be restricted to Cambridge Gardens – Golborne Road.

View from above the Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill, London, October 1976

The view from high above the Portobello Road Market at Notting Hill in London. October 1976

More recently: The Portobello Road decision was made following consultation with and support from residents, businesses, traders and the local community

More recently: The Portobello Road decision was made following consultation with and support from residents, businesses, traders and the local community

An aerial view of Portobello Road street market, Notting Hill, west London, 2018

Aerial view of the Portobello Road Street Market, Notting Hill (West London), 2018, 2018.

Johnny Thalassites, the Lead Member for Planning, Place and the Environment at the council, stated: “Making the closure permanent is an important step in continuing to enhance the experience at Portobello Market, a world-class destination, making the market more accessible to visitors and providing more space for locals to shop and explore.

“Reducing car emissions will improve the air quality in the region, which is also good for traders and residents.

‘Becoming more environmentally-friendly is something we as a council are dedicated to, with our aim to become net carbon zero by 2030.’