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Van ban in Market Place
VANS are set to be banned from Salisbury’s charter market under new rules approved by a city council committee.
Salisbury City Council’s services committee agreed on Monday that a new layout will be adopted along with rules allowing only refrigerated vans to be in the Market Place for the markets on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
But after a lot of discussion it was agreed that the new set-up would be reviewed after six months to see how it is working.
The market will be contained within Market Place once the refurbishment is complete, allowing Guildhall Square to be free for a Christmas market and other events.
A report by Max Philip, markets project manager, says removal of vans will allow more space for new traders to occupy.
The changes to the rules were opposed by Cllr Ian Tomes, who is also a market trader. He said: “Where did this idea for vehicles to be removed come from? The traders did not ask for it, the customers did not ask for it.”
He said it would be dangerous to have vans coming in and out at the end of the day and would kill trade, much of which was conducted at the day’s end.
City clerk Reg Williams said a report on the market from two years ago had highlighted the problem with vehicles. He said an aerial photograph had shown “a car park of Transit vans with a few stalls around it”. It was, he said, “virtually a vehicle corral”.
Once the Market Place was fully refurbished and the new layout was in place, the benefits would be clear, he claimed.
He added: “It’s about how we, and the public, want the market to go. You will see a market that is more colourful with more space and we have flags to come. The whole feel of the thing is so much nicer.”
Cllr Sven Hocking said he preferred the new layout. “It’s easier to get around. Before, you would see an army of white vans and personally, I think it looks much better and we need to keep it that way.”
Councillors voted in favour of reviewing the new set-up after six months of operation.
Council leader Andrew Roberts said the city council should also approach Wiltshire Council about cafés using public space but not paying for it. “There is an unfairness about this,” he said.
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