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Meeting will discuss the future of Beccles Friday market street closure

14:30 30 April 2012

There is currently a study being done into improving market towns across Waveney.The position of Beccles Friday Market has been a matter of debate in the town recently.

There is currently a study being done into improving market towns across Waveney.The position of Beccles Friday Market has been a matter of debate in the town recently.

© Archant 2012

A council will meet on Tuesday as they decide on the future of a Friday road closure that was designed to help the town’s weekly market.

Beccles Town Council will make their recommendations on the order that has closed New Market on Fridays from 6am to 4pm.

There were few objections before it was introduced in August, but after a series of complaints from businesses about falling trade, a consultation was held to gauge public opinion.

This could lead to the market being moved and the road reopened again, but the market traders have criticised this by saying that it has not been given enough time.

Karen Warne, who runs the Hazy Daisy Clothing stall, said that the road closure has enabled several new stall holders to take their first step in business.

“Although it is fair to say Beccles Market is only half full or half empty, depending on which way you want to look at it, nevertheless, the fact of the matter is that Beccles Market has near enough trebled in size, since the road closure last year,” said Mrs Warne, of Ringsfield.

“Not many new enterprises can claim to have done this in such a short period of time, especially in times of austerity.”

She added that the market needed time to fulfil its potential, with new traders currently on a waiting list while they waited to hear the future of the road closure.

Market trader Dominic Parkes added: “I am great advocate of Beccles and want it to succeed; the trouble is looking backwards is not a good way of succeeding.”

However, businesses complained that the road closure has hit their trade and united to collect a 2,058 signature petition against it.

Christine Pinsent, chairman of the Beccles Business Association, said that the local independent retailers in the town centre were unhappy that they had seen a fall in their takings.

Mike Sturman, of Focus 23, added he was not against the market but that he would like to see it moved so that the road could be open.

A public consultation was held into the road closure for the weekly market and forms the basis of a report by Suffolk county councillor Chris Punt.

It explains that the market has extended from an average of seven stalls a week to 15, but that businesses have said they have seen a decrease in footfall and takings in their shops by 20-50pc on Fridays.

The town council will make their recommendation at the meeting at 7pm on Tuesday at the Town Hall.

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5 comments

  • It is always nice to see the village markets.

    Report this comment

    Christopher Neave

    Monday, April 30, 2012

  • The car parking spaces outside the shops adjacent to the old market were never allowed to be used on a Friday and cones were set out to enforce this. The only spaces available to park were directly outside the supermarket leading up to the Kings Head, of which there were about 68. The one thing Beccles has is ample parking a lot of which is free. It is inconceivable to think that several 'new market traders' will be forced to close there businesses for the sake of 68 parking spaces.

    Report this comment

    hdc

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

  • If customers canot park in front of the shops then this may be the reason for lost trade but it looks as if there are double yellow lines down the street so I would have thought it would make little difference whether the street is closed or not with regards to shopping in the stores. A closed street surely benefits the market one day, Friday, each week.

    Report this comment

    Christopher Neave

    Monday, April 30, 2012

  • "......but that businesses have said they have seen a decrease in footfall and takings in their shops by 20-50pc on Fridays".___ Have they thought that thier prices are too high, people can get the same things cheaper from the market, or is it just jealosy that the market overheads are cheaper ??.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Monday, April 30, 2012

  • * 68 should read 6 to 8 spaces. It appears the forward slash symbol isn't accepted!

    Report this comment

    hdc

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

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