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Lincoln Christmas Market: Changes to one-way system in Steep Hill

By Matt_Discombe  |  Posted: December 08, 2012

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Organisers of this year's Lincoln Christmas Market have begun to relax the event's pedestrian one-way system.

The decision has been made one day into the event by the City of Lincoln Council, after consultation with police.

During quiet times at the event people are now permitted to walk up and down Steep Hill when visitor numbers allow.

At busy times, the one-way route goes up Steep Hill, around the market, and exits via Drury Lane. The one-way system will remain in the castle grounds.

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The system was introduced after an independent review by the Emergency Planning Unit recommended changes to the market's layout to reduce overcrowding.

Some stall-holders say the new system is bad for business, while others say the changes allow visitors more space to move within the market.

Alan Wellings, who runs arts stall Alpaca Select Peru in the Castle Grounds, said; "People have been walking up and down and had the run of the castle, but they sometimes don't realise when they get out and have to carry on to The Lawn. It's definitely affected trade."

"The one-way system has worked fine for us so far," said John Farrar, who is running an ornaments stall in the market's Christmas Bazaar tent. "Last year people were walking around all over the place, and it was dangerous for the elderly and disabled."

"It's still early in the market, but there is more space than before in the Castle Grounds, and moving around is a lot easier. It's not affected me a great deal," said John Bangay, who runs an arts stall in the Castle Grounds.

The one-way system has caused protests from local shopkeepers, however. Clare Newman, who works for Sanctuary Café in The Lawn said; "People have been complaining when they've come in because walking around the whole market is too far."

"It has affected our trade because people who've walked this far want to sit down, and we're having to point them in another direction."

Debbie Andrew, Manager of the Bailgate's Cooplands Store, said; "The one-way system means that by the time people reach the Bailgate they've already eaten. We expected it to be busier than this so we had the shop fully staffed. It's really disappointing."

Visitors are also split over the new system. Lisa Tilley, 26, from Lincoln, said; "I'm seven months pregnant and it's hard to walk all the way up Steep Hill and then have to walk all the way around. It was better last year when you could walk around and stop when you wanted to."

Lee Culbeck, 50, from Welton, said; "The system seems to be working and we can easily get to where we want to go. A change was needed after last year, especially as it gets busier later in the weekend."

"It's definitely better than last year, because last year was just chaotic with everyone going in every direction, said Hazel Mc Cardell, 27, from Lincoln. "With this system you can follow the crowd and you won't get lost. It's made the market much better."

Pauline Stilgoe, 66, from Bradford, said; "We've come from Bradford and there are some elderly people with us. They've been struggling with the one-way system because they have to walk all the way around to re-visit some stalls."

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  • Adrian1208  |  December 11 2012, 1:10AM

    It's time the Christmas Market was wound up altogether. It's the same **** every year! locals cannot drive or park anywhere in the uphill area of Lincoln. The Junk (at way over inflated prices) is the same **** that anybody can buy at Ingamells Market any time of the year..

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  • OldLincolnia  |  December 08 2012, 7:05PM

    The sooner this fabulous Market is taken over by a private organisation the better. Council's do not have the resources, staff or skills to deal with such matters. Time and time again it has been as if they do their best to destroy it. There should be a Christmas Market in December - probably for a week and a Medieval Market in the summer in the same place. Give it up Council, you know its beyond your capabilities.

    Rate   7
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  • dougal110  |  December 08 2012, 12:20PM

    The one way system is illegal and has no foundation in law being unenforceable as is the restrictions on civil rights to walk a dog. It is interesting to see the powers that be have turned around and reassessed their reasoning at such an early stage - this is an admission of failure on their part on which was an ill thought out decision in the first place. However you cannot have one rule for a certain time of day and another for a different time, illegal or not.

    Rate   13
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  • Hussydog  |  December 08 2012, 10:00AM

    On my visit Friday (as was last year) I managed to get around, see all I was wanted to and the longer walk did not affect me, but I do understand elderly and Disabled visitors would struggle and the amount of rest stops was minimal between the Bail and front of the Cathedral. Maybe access across the bail to castle square would make things easier and the council could attract more stalls by reducing the cost of the pitch going around the back of the Cathedral, only 2 stalls along that stretch on Friday, Food at the Lincoln Hotel and Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership. I think the layout offered a lot of stalls to be missed, but the ease of walking at your own pace around the market was more attractive to me, I would happily take all 3 of my Children comfortable they would not get hurt or lost when last year I thought over crowding was a huge problem in sections of the Market, and hot drinks were being spilled as people just bumped into each other and not caring where they went or who they tripped up. Also same grievance I have every year, too many fairground attractions. The noise is off putting at looking around stalls nearby. It has nothing to do with the tradition of the market and blights the landscape.

    Rate   -4
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  • BarneySBT  |  December 08 2012, 3:54AM

    As a regular local visitor I can confidently state that this has been the worst organised Christmas Market ever. The alleged improved one way system is a marathon and I would question whether it contravenes disability access laws. It is certainly not age friendly forcing pedestrians down a route march where stalls were conspicuous by their absence and a lack of interest from stewards who simply appeared not wanting to be there. Security wise it is also the least number of police I have seen on duty. The cuts will be blamed for that!!! The whole event lacked spirit probably due to stall holders not being in prime positions. There were also some distinct "missing's" this year unless I missed them where were the famous roast beef baps? It was either the Rotarians or the Lions that used to produce them. So Lincoln City Council get back to the drawing board and even better get back to basics. Stop being greedy by trying to attract even more people every year. Also before you think I am speaking alone both visitors and stall holders could be heard grumbling last night. An own goal by Lincoln I'm afraid and I do NOT recommend a visit to the 2012 event.

    Rate   15
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  • BarneySBT  |  December 08 2012, 3:54AM

    As a regular local visitor I can confidently state that this has been the worst organised Christmas Market ever. The alleged improved one way system is a marathon and I would question whether it contravenes disability access laws. It is certainly not age friendly forcing pedestrians down a route march where stalls were conspicuous by their absence and a lack of interest from stewards who simply appeared not wanting to be there. Security wise it is also the least number of police I have seen on duty. The cuts will be blamed for that!!! The whole event lacked spirit probably due to stall holders not being in prime positions. There were also some distinct "missing's" this year unless I missed them where were the famous roast beef baps? It was either the Rotarians or the Lions that used to produce them. So Lincoln City Council get back to the drawing board and even better get back to basics. Stop being greedy by trying to attract even more people every year. Also before you think I am speaking alone both visitors and stall holders could be heard grumbling last night. An own goal by Lincoln I'm afraid and I do NOT recommend a visit to the 2012 event.

    Rate   20
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  • Mrsquirell  |  December 07 2012, 8:44PM

    It may still change again after the Labour Council move the management of the Christmas Market to an outside company. they have already started the tender process and are inviting potential clients to come meet with them. So much for Labour keep the Council staff employed.

    Rate   9
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  • nolies  |  December 07 2012, 7:33PM

    These changes were made to prevent the bedlam that we had last year and you'll never please everyone.The traders will just have to wait until the end of the market to find out if it was the right decision or not.

    Rate   -3
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  • joimp  |  December 07 2012, 4:47PM

    i went last night with my family and while i understand why they have put the one-way system in place, i did not much care for it. firstly, because we walked from wragby road area and there was no signs to say one way system from the lincoln hotel heading towards the white hart hotel, so we got all the way to the bottom expecting to go left towards the castle but no, the road was blocked and so had to walk all the way back and round the cathedral to get to the castle, a few people behind me also maoning about lack of signs. secondly, when i met my family outside the magna carta, my brother-in-law needed some money out of the cash machine, unfortunatly these machines are the otherside of the blocked road. he went to speak to a steward but was told he had to walk all the way round to get to the cash machine. i know he should have taken out money before but we had not realised that the road would be totally blocked. we also asked the stewards who were 'guarding' steep hill, again we was told that we would have to go down glory lane to get to the banks and then back up steep hill. in the end, he walked all the way round and then back again. i do not mind a one- way system but i think it was taken to the extreme this year, my mother who does not walk well, missed it this year due to the fact that it is a lot longer (apparently 2 miles) due to the new system and would have been too much for her with the hills too. i love going round the market but it did make it abit stressful and think the older person will find it hard going.

    Rate   25
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