APRIL 14 - 27, 2017 No. 4898 70p

Traders, shoppers and taxi drivers in a Staffordshire town are fighting plans to close two town centre roads to traffic on market days, local media reports. Staffordshire Moorlands

Town divided over market

District Council is set to ban traffic from Russell Street and the middle of Derby Street in Leek, between 5am and 5pm on Wednesdays. The move comes after

the authority revealed last year that it wanted to extend Leek’s Wednesday market down the town’s Derby Street to enable the stalls to “meet up”.

For the last three years

Leek’s outdoor market has been split in two, with stalls at the top and bottom of Derby Street, but business owners fear the plans to ban traffic could affect their trade. Fish and chip shop owner

Keith Montgomery believes the market should never have been relocated. He told local media:

“The council only moved the market in the first place because they want the revenue from the car park. “There are a lot of shops

on Russell Street that will be affected because cars won’t be able to park. “If they want the market

together they might as well move it back onto the Market Place.”

Stallholders and shoppers

at the market were divided on the proposals, with some believing the market should return to the market square while others think traffic-free streets could be good for trade.

Seventy four year-old

Salvation Army volunteer Ernest Salt, who collects donations at the market every week, said: “It’s absolutely outrageous. It’s not worth the hassle. “It’s going to cause loss

of car parking in the street. Leek is a market town and the market should be back on the square where it’s always been.

“There is no point in having

an 800 year-old charter if the market isn’t where it’s

ISSN 2057–6781 Planned road closures on market days in Leek have divided the town

20th & 21st MAY, 2017 Anglesey Agricultural Showground

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supposed to be. Whoever thought this idea up should have a re-think.” Another potential disadvantage is that if the road closures go ahead, there will be no access to the taxi rank on Derby Street. Cabbie Andrew Harris told

local media: “The Derby Street taxi rank is the only one in Leek and if we can’t use it on Wednesdays it’s going to mess everything up. It seem the council doesn’t think of things like that.” Leek resident and Blue

Badge holder Christine Dunn added: “It’s pathetic. Shops are going to suffer. “It’s going to make my life a

lot more difficult. I can’t walk far as it is and now I wonder where I’m going to park.” Garry Snape runs a stall

selling plants and flowers, and he doesn’t think the road closures will make much of a difference to trade. “Personally I’d rather it was

left as it is,” he said. “It will create a load of hassle and people may struggle to park. “It has built up now since it

moved from the Market Place. It makes no difference where we are, it’s the public this will affect.” However, women’s wear

trader Naresh Chaddha believes that banning cars on market day could be good for

business, pointing out that it would “help the market be safer for the public to walk around”. Iona Robertson, who runs a

vintage jewellery stall, agreed, adding: “I think it’s great. The street already feels quite pedestrianised anyway. “It’s going to make the market bigger and better. More stalls will attract more people.” Marguarite Molloy runs a

sock stall with her husband and is also backing the plan. “Ideally the market would

be all the way down the street if it was up to me,” she said. “This is a positive move. “The market was dying on

the old Market Place. I’m glad the council moved it and gave us gazebos.” Clive Welsh, who runs a

men’s and women’s footwear stall, added: “It’s a great idea – it will help the town.” A date for when drivers will

be banned from using the two roads on market days has not yet been confirmed. Cllr Edwin Wain, cabinet

member for development, told local media: “We have always intended to have market stalls along the length of Derby Street linking the stalls at the top and the bottom. This road closure is to facilitate that plan.” Leek’s first market was

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INSIDE... Page 3

New independent market for historic city of Bath

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The Butter Market and Market Cross in Leek (Photo: Alan Feebery)

established by Royal Charter in 1207 and the town is still a thriving market centre. The general outdoor

market takes place every Wednesday, and there are traditional indoor markets with

over 50 stalls in the Victorian Butter Market building just off the Market Place.

Wolverhampton market plans move forward

‘Steam Engines’ ‘Motorcycles’ ‘Tractor Pulling’ TRADERS WANTED!

‘Commercial Vehicles’

‘Classic Cars’

‘Children’s Entertainment’


‘Trade Stands’


‘Beer Tent & Live Bands’


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