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Traders at Barking Market claim layout changes have seen their takings go down

PUBLISHED: 14:00 04 October 2018

The new-look Barking Market. Picture: Alex Shaw

The new-look Barking Market. Picture: Alex Shaw

Alex Shaw

Traders have expressed their anger at changes in the layout at Barking Market saying their takings have gone down since the alterations were introduced.

Nadeem Hashmat has handed in a petition to the Barking and Dagenham Council to protest the changes to the layout of the market. Picture: Basit MahmoodNadeem Hashmat has handed in a petition to the Barking and Dagenham Council to protest the changes to the layout of the market. Picture: Basit Mahmood

According to traders the changes, which means stalls are now laid out in a back to back fashion, has resulted in shoppers no longer have an easy access to the market.

The stalls were previously laid out on opposite sides with shoppers gaining access in the middle. Trader Nadeem Hashmat said he had already been hit by lower footfalls as a result of the changes which were introduced on September 25.

The 45-year-old said: “The public can’t see our stalls so the changes are having a big impact on me financially.”

Mr Hashmat has said last week he handed a petition to Barking and Dagenham Council with more than 30 signatures from other traders.

The new-look Barking Market which previously had stalls on opposite sides with access to shoppers down the middle. Picture: Alex ShawThe new-look Barking Market which previously had stalls on opposite sides with access to shoppers down the middle. Picture: Alex Shaw

The petition calls on the council to reverse the decision of the market traders to lay out the stalls in a ‘back to back’ fashion.

The petition also states that the previous layout was more beneficial to the traders and customers, as people were more easily able to walk through the middle of the market and browse stalls.

Market trader Ian Bannister, 47, was also frustrated at the changes.

He said: “My stall has lost money already.

Nadeem Hashmat has handed in a petition to the Barking and Dagenham Council to protest the changes to the layout of the market. Picture: Basit MahmoodNadeem Hashmat has handed in a petition to the Barking and Dagenham Council to protest the changes to the layout of the market. Picture: Basit Mahmood

“I’m getting 10 per cent lower on the footfall that I had previously had.”

However one trader, who wishes to remain anonymous, said that the changes had a positive impact on his stall.

A spokesman from Barking and Dagenham Council said: “We can confirm that prior to adopting the new layout, we carried out consultation with the market traders and surrounding shop owners including representatives of the traders and the majority are happy with the new layout.

“We also worked closely with the police and CCTV colleagues and visitors to the market now have easier access and the market is now safer with easy reach for our CCTV cameras.

“Shopkeepers are happier with the investment in the market with some traders reporting a 30pc increase in trade.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and are already talking to traders to address any concerns they may have.”

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