ANGRY market traders say a ban on vehicles in Salisbury’s newly refurbished market square is “crippling trade” during wet weather.
Traders’ vans and trailers are not permitted in the newly laid out market but stallholders say the ban is making it hard for them to trade, particularly during torrential downpours.
“I used to keep lots of stock in my van when the weather was wet, and just put out the basics,” said Ian Tomes who runs the pet stall at the market.
“Now everything has to go out and everything is getting wet.
“The van used to give the stall some protection against the wind and the rain, and you could sit in it to have a cup of tea and a break from the weather.
“And I used to tie the stall to the vehicle to secure it.”
Market traders say that after months of disruption during the year-long refurbishment project, the vehicle ban is another blow.
“Traders are put off from coming because it’s just so hard going,” added Mr Tomes, who is also a Salisbury city and Wiltshire councillor.
“Markets are struggling for lots of reasons; it is hard to compete with other retailers and if they want to continue having a market in Salisbury then we need a bit of a break.”
Apart from refrigerated trailers selling fresh food, no traders’ vehicles are allowed in the square as part of a scheme to improve the appearance of the market.
“It might look nicer but you have to balance prettiness with practicality,” said Mr Tomes.
“It might be all right in the summer but the least they can do is consider allowing us to have the vehicles back in extreme weather like we have seen this week.”
Markets project manager at Salisbury City Council, Max Philip, said: “We have had no formal representation from traders about this issue and it has not come up at the traders’ panel.
“This was a decision taken by the city council to improve the look of the market and give us more space.
“However, it was agreed it would be reviewed after six months starting from last October.
“That would be the first opportunity to look at it again and the decision would need to be taken by the council.”