08:00 Friday 23 November 2012

Mixed reaction by traders as wind brings problems

Written byALEX WAINWRIGHT

SHOPPERS have given the thumbs-up to the outdoor market’s move into Station Street.

Station Street market
Station Street market

Yesterday saw Burton’s outdoor market in its new home for the first time, marking the first part of East Staffordshire Borough Council’s plans to revamp the Market Hall.

Stalls lined the centre of the street, and shoppers told the Mail that they were pleased with the move — giving them more stalls in a better location.

Sheila Niclin, 69, from Tutbury, said: “It’s like a proper market now. It was certainly a good idea to move the stalls here and it’s quite busy.” Joan Jones, a fellow shopper at the market, said: “It looks good so far. There seem to be more stalls and I would think they will get more business down here.”

But as wind powered down Station Street there was mixed reactions from the traders — with some already seeing an increase in footfall and others packing up early to prevent their stock from blowing away.

Carol Wheeler, from the baby clothing and toys stall, was forced to pack up her stall at noon after her products were swept into the street.

Mrs Wheeler said: “I’ve lost a lot of stock because it’s been damaged in the wind and I can’t display anything.

“We didn’t have this problem in our old location because the stalls were more rigid and could take the wind.” Barbarah Dhanoa, who runs a clothing stall, said: “Since I’ve been here I’ve done nothing but pick up clothes. I’m scared that my stock could fall on someone.

“It’s total chaos and very dangerous. I have been using the same rails as I used to and this has never happened before. At the old market we had much better stalls and they were more secure.”

John Wain, who runs a shoes and slippers stall, was also forced to pack up early and said that if the stalls could not handle yesterday’s wind, he was fearful for future adverse weather conditions.

But the problems were confined to the ends of the market — with stalls in the centre being sheltered from the conditions.

Aidan Whittaker, from the book stall, said: “I like the set-up, there’s certainly more people. I’m very happy with my location in the street and I’ve already seen an increase in footfall.”

Steve Dilk, who sells nightwear, said he was adapting to the new layout, and although trade was not that brisk he was hopeful that this would improve as people got used to the market’s new location.

A spokesman for East Staffordshire Borough Council said: “After months of planning the council is thrilled to see the first stage of its market plans come to fruition.

“Despite the weather, the number of people turning out and the response of the stall holders has been extremely positive.”

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