Traders’ anger over market day van ban - COMMENT ON THIS STORY

Market traders
Market traders

FURIOUS market traders have expressed anger over proposals to ban their vehicles from the town centre on market day.

The stall holders are also upset by comments made by the Mayor of Pocklington, Councillor Graham Perry, as Pocklington’s town councillors continue talks with East Riding Council about changes to the weekly event.

Complaints by shopkeepers about traders parked in front of windows prompted Pocklington Town Council to seek talks with East Riding Council, and they hope a ban on vans in Market Place and Market Street on a Tuesday will soon be imposed.

It is proposed that the car park at the youth club on New Street could be used as a place for traders to keep their vans.

But the news has not been welcomed by stall holders, who are growing frustrated that nobody has approached them. Councillor Graham Perry was quoted as saying that if traders were unhappy with the proposals, they should move on.

John Dyson, who runs a weekly stall, said: “We are all businessmen at the end of the day. I would personally like an apology on that. We are all incensed, the traders are up in arms.

“The town council just don’t talk to us, they don’t make themselves known.

“If we have to park elsewhere, and we are a one-man business, how do we take our tills and everything with us? Just walk down the road on our own?

“It’s like they almost don’t want a market here anymore.”

Mark Lumley, who runs a clothes stall near to the Arts Centre and pays for the extra pitch to park his van, added: “We are fed up with it all coming from one side, it’s such a hard living to make and you get treated like second class citizens, it’s disrespectful.

“He [Coun Perry] said that we pay £20, I don’t know where he got that figure from, because we pay over £1,600 a year for our stalls.

“The vans are doing no harm to anybody.”

Mr Lumley said that having vans parked away from their stalls can attract thieves during the darker winter months, and is impractical for loading and unloading stock.

Several years ago, traders were ordered to move vehicles out of parking bays on West Green by the town’s chamber of trade to free up spaces for shoppers, and they are angry about the latest proposals.

This could include forcing stalls to face towards the pavement, rather than on to the road, to attract more people to the shops.

But Barry Dawson, who has run a stall for decades, says it would not be practical.

He commented: “When I started here, the stipulation was that they should face into the town centre, for safety reasons. It’s almost twice as wide on one side of the street as it is on the other.

“Now they want us to move the vans, well we are just obeying our last order by the chamber of trade.”

However, in response to his previous comments, Councillor Graham Perry defended his stance saying: “I was not intending to aggravate the traders but I do believe East Riding Council do provide a good basic service for what the traders pay.

“We are not seeking to run the traders out of town, we are seeking to make a better working arrangement.

“I believe Pocklington needs a market, however, of the view that it is being spoilt by too many large vans. East Riding Council can see our point and recognise something need to be done.”

He says that East Riding Council were due to talk with the market traders about the situation, and hope final proposals can be put forward in the next four to six weeks.