£1m investment in Electric Avenue
Written by Cllr Jack Hopkins
January 13, 2016
Categories: Brixton Central, Brixton Central Masterplan, Community space, Public spaces, Town Centre
Work got under way this week on a £1 million upgrade of the iconic and much-loved Electric Avenue.
The investment, from the Mayor of London’s High Street Fund and Lambeth Council, will deliver a much improved environment for the street market, shops, shoppers and local residents, boosting trade, making it easier for local people to shop and increasing visitors to the town centre.
The improvements include new granite paving throughout, as well as improved street lighting, signage and drainage. New power supply, water points and hand held electronic payment systems will be provided for market traders.
By moving stalls to the centre of the street, market traders will also enjoy larger pitches and trading areas. Alongside the removal of the bollards and other street clutter, this will help pedestrian flow and should make it easier for elderly, disabled people, and those with young children, to move along the street.
The proposed new stalls will be quicker and quieter to set up and easier to transport, as well as providing improved weather-proofing for traders and customers. We understand they represent a change and will work with traders to address any remaining concerns, prior to their introduction. We are also improving waste collection and disposal on the street, bringing in more regular collections from the handheld electric trolleys, removing the need to pile up rubbish on the street and increasing recycling.
Final designs of the new market layout
The current pedestrianisation hours in the market streets will remain. However, having listened to local concerns, the council will consult on a proposal to allow some market traders a permit to enter Electric Avenue, up until 9am, to unload heavy goods, when the market is in operation but still quiet. On Electric Lane, loading and unloading times for traders and shops will also be extended until 9am and from 4pm.
Consultation and engagement with traders, shops, residents and shoppers has been extensive, stretching back to November 2014. This has included individual meetings with traders, workshops, consultation events based in the market, and a customer survey, including focus groups, which reached over 400 shoppers. The Brixton Market Traders Federation has been a key member of the project team from inception, alongside local ward councillors and groups including the Brixton Society and the Brixton Business Improvement District.
The improvement works will be delivered in two phases to allow the street market to remain open throughout construction. Opening hours are as normal, Monday to Saturday 8am – 6pm, except on Wednesday when the market closes early at 2pm. While we are working hard to reduce the impact, I appreciate there will be disruption and inconvenience during this time. However, I am also confident the long-term benefit to the area will be significant.
Find out more about the Electric Avenue improvement works, including who to contact for further questions, by visiting our street market page.