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Barking traders fear works will stall Christmas rush

PUBLISHED: 13:52 22 September 2015

Traders in Barking Market are concerned over improvement works which will lead to their stalls being displaced for a total of four months.
From left, Ismaeel Sheikh, Tanveer Hasain, Adeel Nawaz, and Hadaem Ali

Traders in Barking Market are concerned over improvement works which will lead to their stalls being displaced for a total of four months. From left, Ismaeel Sheikh, Tanveer Hasain, Adeel Nawaz, and Hadaem Ali

Archant

Traders are worried they could miss out on the Christmas rush after plans to relocate their stalls were revealed.

About eight Barking Market stallholders will have to shift their pitches from outside the Magistrates’ Court and Short Blue Place next Friday, when work to install new paving and lighting in East Street gets under way.

The works are part of a £1.2 million scheme to improve paving, lighting and street furniture at the popular market.

Lingerie stallholder Adeel Nawaz, 30, is not sure where he will be moved to.

“I’ve got a lot of stock, and I’m worried I won’t sell it in a different position,” he said.

“My regular customers won’t come to me. They won’t see me, and they’ll buy from other traders.

“They [the council] should have done it after Christmas, from January or later.”

In a letter from the Barking Market team, received on Friday, traders learned that the works will run from October 5 to November 27, and from January 4 to March 18 next year.

The notice stresses that no work has been scheduled for December to minimise disruption to traders – but they were not all convinced.

“I’m worried – I have worked here for 15 years and I don’t like this,” said Gurmail Singh Saul, 53.

Half of Gurmail’s ladieswear stall is in the affected zone, and he fears that he will see his pitch split in two.

“It’s happening just at the wrong time, in the lead-up to Christmas,” he added.

But some traders were not overly concerned with the changes.

“We can’t do anything about it, we just have to listen to what our managers say,” said Mohammed Khan, 45, who runs a bedding stall.

Key cutter Peter Britten, 61, added: “I’m just moving a little so I’m not that bothered about it.”

Traders are to be contacted individually to discuss the move.

A council spokesman told the Post: “The council secured funding of £1.2m for a range of improvement works across East Street, including new paving, lighting and street furniture.

“We wrote to the traders and have put plans in place for those affected to be placed elsewhere in the market while the works take place.

“There will be no work from the end of November to allow for the busy Christmas period, with works starting again in January.

“The work coincides with increased footfall in the town centre especially with the opening of the new ASDA store which the traders are already benefiting from.”


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