MARKET traders and disabled people have expressed concerns over plans for a Christmas market in Salisbury.

The market, a first for the city, would be an 18-day event based in Guildhall Square and is set to include 55 wooden chalets selling European, British and locally-made products.

But traders who usually work there on Tuesdays and Saturdays are worried about the potential for loss of business over that time.

Tisbury-based butchers J&J Longley fear the change in location would lead to their customers being unable to find them.

John Longley said: “People are totally reliant on us being in the same place for 52 weeks of the year, as we have been for 25 years.

“Our customers come from far and wide to place orders for their Christmas poultry and game and I just think if they see we are not in the same spot, they will give up and go home.

“It is absolutely essential to remain in the same place and maintain the confidence of your customers.”

Mr Longley said any loss of business would also have a knock-on effect on various full-time jobs in Tisbury, which are dependant on the success of the market stall.

The Christmas market is planned to take place from November 29 to December 16 and during that time two fruit and vegetable stalls along with the J&J Longley stall will be relocated in the Market Place.

Chairman of the Salisbury market traders Barry Vincent said: "It's going to cause chaos.We are not happy at all that they want to move the stalls.

“People just won't look for you somewhere else, even if signs up are put up people don't look at them.”

Salisbury City councillor and fellow market trader Ian Tomes said more needed to be done to consult market traders before decisions such as those involving the Christmas market were made.

A meeting has been arranged between Salisbury City Council, City Centre Management and market traders to discuss plans the plans on April 10.

City Centre Manager Graham Gould said: “We are very happy to sit down and talk with market traders to ensure the Christmas market works for them.”

Disabled people have also raised fears of a shortage of parking spaces for Blue Badge holders, which could lead to them being unable to do their own Christmas shopping.

Helen Farmer of the Wheelchair Awareness Group said: “I obviously welcome the Christmas market, it’s a wonderful idea.

“However, given that they are planning to put 55 Christmas huts in the Guildhall Square, it begs the question of where the disabled parking is going to be located.”