TRADERS in Barnstaple are angry about plans to reduce loading spaces outside the pannier market claming the change could be detrimental to businesses at a time trade is already tough.
Devon Highways at Devon County Council has drawn up plans to reduce the number of loading bays outside Barnstaple Pannier Market on Butchers Row in a bid to reduce congestion in the town centre.
But traders at the market and on Butchers Row believe this move will have the opposite effect and cause chaos for businesses.
Ian Dakin, the chairman of the Barnstaple Pannier Market traders’ committee, said: “Reducing the spaces puts more pressure on those spaces left.
“Getting rid of loading bays will not solve Highways problems. HGVs have been hitting the pannier market and the side of Butchers Row and so they are saying they need more room, but Butchers Row is not fit for such vehicles. It is an historic street.
“They should just restrict the size limit and let the larger lorries drive straight down the High Street before 8am.
“Reducing the bays just means some people won’t be able to park to load or unload and so they will have to drive around the town centre jamming up the roads.
“The market has over 200 hundred traders and a lot of them are elderly. They need to be able to load as near as possible. At the moment trade is very bad, if it was good we could put up with a lot more but this is the start of a downward spiral. It will just mean some traders will give up and not think it is worth it.”
The leader of North Devon Council, Councillor Brian Greenslade, who is also a county councillor, has been liaising with the traders.
He said: “I organised a meeting with Highways and I think