December 9 2013 Latest news:
By RICHARD WOOD
Friday, January 18, 2013
Cars will once again be able to drive through a town market after a county council approved a bid to reopen it.
New Market in Beccles has been closed between 6am and 4pm on Fridays, but now market stalls and cars will be side-by-side after Suffolk County Council approved a bid to reopen the road.
The council’s Rights of Way committee agreed that the closure of New Market will be lifted, and it is expected to take place in the next six or seven weeks.
The road will then be open between 9am and 2pm on Fridays, with it closed between 6-9am and 2-4pm to allow the market to be set up and taken down.
The existing road closure has been blamed for falling trade by shopkeepers, however market stall traders had complained that the road closure had helped it to nearly treble in size and that the order had not been given enough time.
Beccles mayor Graham Catchpole said the town council had been looking for a compromise and he believed this solution provided it.
“The hope is that it will give flexibility so the market can expand and contract through the year,” he said.
“At this time of year, when there are fewer stalls, it releases the parking spaces that can be seen standing there empty, which has been causing the frustration.
“While in the summer, when it is full, there won’t be any available but the market will be bustling.”
The stalls will be turned around so that they face the path, while barriers will stop people walking into the road.
The road closure was introduced in August 2010 to encourage the weekly market to grow.