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Lincoln Christmas Market will have one-way route, insist organisers

By PWhitelam_LE  |  Posted: November 07, 2012

Steep Hill

A controversial one-way pedestrian system will operate in Steep Hill during this year's Lincoln Christmas Market

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A controversial one-way pedestrian system will operate at this year's Lincoln Christmas Market, despite protests from some traders.

Following an in-depth and independent review by the Emergency Planning Unit, it has been agreed to make changes to the layout and crowd control measures following overcrowding concerns at the 2011 event.

Among the changes for this year's market, which runs from December 6 to 9, will be the introduction of a one-way pedestrian traffic system up Steep Hill and back downhill via Drury Lane and Michaelgate.

Shopkeepers in The Strait and Steep Hill say this will be bad for business.

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But organisers believe the new system and layout will make it easier for visitors to move around and enjoy the wide range of attractions - and that they will be better for traders.

Director of development and environmental services at the city council John Latham, said: "Public safety is paramount and in view of last year's unprecedented numbers of visitors to the market we have had to look at how we manage the crowds.

"Pro-active crowd management  has avoided any serious incidents on Steep Hill in the past but we don't want to wait for something to go wrong, so we anticipate problems and put appropriate measures in place.

"We believe that by providing a more enjoyable experience people will be more likely to linger, not only at stalls but also in existing businesses throughout the city centre.

"The main aim behind the council organising the market is to provide an out of season boost for local businesses as well as representing a fantastic marketing opportunity for the city as a whole."

One factor taken into consideration was that the majority of visitors enter the market from the north of the city.

The annual market provides an estimated £10m boost to the local economy and the council believes it is vital that the way in which it is managed does not undermine that positive impact.

The council will continue to look at ways to support businesses in The Strait and Steep Hill areas throughout the duration of the market.

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  • Roadscource  |  November 08 2012, 12:50PM

    Why do we have to import 4 guys from Germany, amongst all the others, to boil up some red wine in a pan on a camping stove in a makeshift tent and sell it in a disposable expanded polystyrene cup? The Lincoln Sausage Festival was brilliant much better sausages than the German equivelant at the Xmas market in my humble opinion - pork and stilton very Xmassy and delicious. Reminded me of some of the early Lincoln Xmas markets i remember attending. Can we just move the Sausage Festival into December 1 week ahead of this now overcommercialised Xmas Market event and get someone in a tent boiling red wine and then all the Lincoln residents wanting the traditional feel of Christmas can attend this and everyone else from the 4 corners of Britain can attend the one starting on the 6th December and hopefully wonder why its highly acclaimed and not bother ever again.

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  • Numb_Chumpy  |  November 08 2012, 11:24AM

    "This decision was independent of the City Council (read the article ...)" Except that it wasn't, and yes, why don't you do exactly that? "Following an in-depth and independent review by the Emergency Planning Unit, it has been agreed to make changes to the layout and crowd control measures following overcrowding concerns at the 2011 event." The REVIEW was independent of Lincoln City Council, who, as the organisers of the event then decided to make changes IAW the review. "you do your cause no good at all when you click on 'submit' before you've allowed thinking to displace prejudice." Oh, the irony :D

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  • Gixxerman  |  November 08 2012, 10:07AM

    It's had a one-way route for years - generally in a downhill (sic) direction.

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  • sleafordbiker  |  November 07 2012, 10:22PM

    I really can't understand "lincolnbiker"s disjointed comments! I didn't see anything in I Keats words complaining about his shop being on a hill thats too steep, and I think I am right in saying that the said shop is on The Strait not on a hill thats too steep, unless your thinking of riding a motorbike down it of course! "Mind the bollards"

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  • skellylifer  |  November 07 2012, 7:50PM

    "£10 million boost to local economy". Is there any factual evidence to support this claim? For example, most of the money trousered by the xmas traders goes straight out of the county. Every £20 spent on non-local products with non-local traders is £20 lost to our local producers and traders. As for the claim that this tacky, down-market opportunity to shuffle around an over-crowded, consumer-fest for the gullible who have nothing better to do represents a "fantastic marketing opportunity for the city as a whole" beggars belief. Do the people organising this embarasment ever analyse those who have visited this event, never to go again. I know of many, many people from Lincolnshire and afar, who have been really disappointed by the experience. It actually leaves a negative feeling and memory to many. Blotting our beautiful city with this annual embarassment simply associates and markets our city as tacky and down-market. Surely this surely can't be the right direction for our city to take.

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  • Oldernwiser  |  November 07 2012, 6:24PM

    Oh dear 'whine' - you do your cause no good at all when you click on 'submit' before you've allowed thinking to displace prejudice. You write: "Metcalfe & co. still doing their level best to run the market into the ground by making it as dour and joyless an experience as possible. Still, what else can one expect from a bunch of socialists?" This decision was independent of the City Council (read the article ...) Here's what you could (and should) have found out before letting rip: "Emergency Planning in Lincolnshire is carried out by the Joint Emergency Management Service (JEMS) which is located at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Headquarters in Lincoln. The JEMS Team is made up of emergency planners from Lincolnshire County Council, Lincolnshire Police, NHS Lincolnshire, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Environment Agency." No mention, even, of the City of Lincoln Council, let alone Mr Metcalfe - and even less of a hint about a bunch of socialists. Had you done so you would have saved yourself the embarrassment of writing utter nonsense and me the time of helping you to use argument rather than abuse it. What's more, I'm baffled by a contention that "Metcalfe & Co" are still (your word) doing their best to run the market into the ground when last year's numbers were at record levels ...... but I'll keep working on that statement in case the light dawns on me. But I've no doubt that there would be many on here who would be very quick to condemn 'Metcalfe & Co' if, following last year's crowded experience nothing had been done and there turned out to be serious issues this year ..... probably those without the breadth or depth of knlowledge / experience of the Emergency Planning Unit .... the same people who plainly know everything that's right or wrong about the Christmas Market. Based on their annual visit, I imagine.

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  • eatmygoal  |  November 07 2012, 2:40PM

    A lot of complaints were made about the Olympics ticketing this year, with ballots or websites freezing etc. The problem in reality was too many people wanting too few tickets. For the market is too many people wanting access to too smaller area over too short a period of time. Until one of those three things change Lincoln Market will always be an "effort" to get around and one way systems and traffic control are like putting lip stick on a pig before a Miss World competition. At some point a hard decision is going to have to be made.

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  • Phil1W  |  November 07 2012, 2:38PM

    How will they stop people walking down Steep Hill? And what will they do to those who do?

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  • Lincoln_Biker  |  November 07 2012, 2:15PM

    "shops on The Strait and Steep Hill, what will they say when local Independants shops, which rely on the Christmas Market and is suppose to be a Joyful occasion are gone. The people coming to the Market will only get ONE Chance to see the shops as the pass, not realising they have to go for a hike, then they will be to tired." Your concern appears to me to be that this one way system doesn't go right through the middle of your shop allowing you to profiteer to your hearts content. All this passing trade is brought here from the hard work and efforts of LCC and the organisers, and if you want in on the profits then I suggest you do something other than complain that the hill you run a shop on is too steep.

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  • I Keat Jewellers Ltd  |  November 07 2012, 1:28PM

    Yet another cock-up waiting to happen by the Council, No consultation with the local shops on The Strait and Steep Hill, what will they say when local Independants shops, which rely on the Christmas Market and is suppose to be a Joyful occasion are gone? The people coming to the Market will only get ONE Chance to see the shops as the pass, not realising they have to go for a hike, then they will be to tired. All they go on about is Health and Safety, its wearing abit thin. How much is the council going to waste this year? how many stalls are from Lincoln? Hope it works for the local shops, but the bottle neck will still be in Castle Square, where people coming up Steep Hill and turning left will meet people coming from the Cathedral direction, who may want to go down Drury lane and Michaelgate. Good Luck. Lincoln Local

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