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Strait traders fear disaster due to one-way system for Lincoln Christmas Market

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: October 18, 2012

Strait

This is bad business: David Hodson, left, from Ian Keat Jewellers, with some of the concerned shop owners. Picture: John Jenkins

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Traders fear a proposed one-way pedestrian route at Lincoln Christmas Market could spell economic disaster for their businesses.

Last year's event, which attracted 200,000 people over four days, was dogged by complaints that it was too busy.

The City of Lincoln Council has since taken advice from a professor who was involved in crowd control at the royal wedding and the Olympics.

A one-way system has now been devised to run from December 6 to 9 during this year's event, going up The Strait and Steep Hill, around the market and down Spring Hill.

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But businesses, who are being consulted on the proposal, say two-way access to The Strait and Steep Hill should remain.

David Hodson, owner of Ian Keat Jewellers, in The Strait, said: "We are all struggling and this one-way system will be the death knell of this street.

"The market is going on uphill so why should we be made to suffer?

"Is the council going to compensate us?"

Neighbour Jason Pick, who runs Modern Classics cafe, said: "We want the route left alone – we are struggling as it is."

Richard Baxter, who runs Goodies Sweet Shop, said: "People won't be buying stuff on their way up to the market and the one-way system means we will not get that trade on the way back down.

"We want access kept both up and down the hill and let people walk where they want to.

"The way things are going, these shops will be turned into student accommodation."

Holly Parker, events officer at the city council, said: "We've taken advice from national crowd control experts when designing the layout of this year's market, including Professor Keith Still, who advised on the Olympics and the royal wedding.

"We've made numerous changes, including fewer stalls in the castle grounds.

"Also we're spreading the stalls around the cathedral, up Newport and down to the bottom of Steep Hill.

"The city council organises and invests in the Lincoln Christmas Market every year because of the fantastic profile and economic boost it gives to our city.

"We have local businesses at the forefront of our mind, and want them to be able to maximise their income from the increase in visitors over the four-day period.

"We need to address the crowd issues and our advisors have put a one way system in place on Steep Hill.

"However, we are now asking for business owners to tell us their preferred option – the option that they think will best serve businesses.

"This way, we can keep visitors safe and happy, and also make the most of the Christmas Market for local businesses.

"I hope businesses will respond to our survey so we can make an informed decision."

This year's market begins at noon on the Thursday, rather than the 4pm start in previous years.

East Midlands Trains is running extra trains in and out of Lincoln on the Friday and Saturday over the market weekend.

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  • mattsavelin  |  October 25 2012, 1:25PM

    Ref:Matt Savelin Although i disagree with the article 'on the one way system', I am Matthew Bowser, and did not write the following '"Having had a stall at the market i can confirm the council are a bunch of Hitlers! I'm going to cause them some problems this year after making several stall holders to close last year!" Appreciate this is an open forum and people can post what they like 'as who they like' but this was not me.

  • M_C_Donald  |  October 19 2012, 10:22PM

    The strait isn't a problem. Th problem last year was the bottleneck caused by placing a couple of stalls between the Judges Lodgings and the entrance to the castle causing a narrowing approach to become even more narrow by the stalls themselves and the people looking at them. The layout in the castle ground was a problem. The 'island' of stalls caused the flow of people to divide to either side which meant they went roound the bottom and back up against the flow. The same number of stall could of been laid out snaking (like a street) around the grounds which meant the flow would alway been in one direction. You don't have to be a Professor in crowd control to work it out, just use a little commonsense.

  • moocher1  |  October 19 2012, 2:58PM

    If the market is too crowded spread it out more, more space means less crowded.......simple, and i'm not a crowd control specialist!! People want to be able to browse at will rather than be herded through like sheep. Saying that i won't be going, all it is is a festive sunday market selling festive tat at over inflated prices, you get better bargains at Hemswell market without all the hassle to local residents

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  • mattsavelin  |  October 19 2012, 11:58AM

    Having had a stall at the market i can confirm the council are a bunch of Hitlers! I'm going to cause them some problems this year after making several stall holders to close last year!

  • gazlincoln  |  October 19 2012, 11:01AM

    put up parking prices for the christmas market too.. 10x should do it... ermm must be other ways to alienate visitors to stop them coming and blocking the city up.

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  • korkyone  |  October 19 2012, 10:25AM

    Let the visitors have freedom of choice, Car park opposite the collection could be used for more market stalls,plus lower level of the usher gallery grounds. The Brayford area could accommodate more market stalls,this would spread the load giving more visitors more attractions to enjoy

  • Dailyman  |  October 18 2012, 8:00PM

    I think you may find holding the market over 6-7 days will ease the congestion with no need for measures such as one way systems. It seems as long as the council have all the pitches paid for and pocketed then that is their job done. Spread the economic boom to all businesses and don't limit the strait to a one way system

  • monksmoll  |  October 18 2012, 5:05PM

    What a nonsense. Why this council is full of people with no common sense and a determination to wreak havoc on small businesses. Personally, I would like to see the market spread throughout the city with stalls down at St.Marks square, City square and the Cornhill as well as the Castle/Bailgate/Lawn and Westgate. This would share the commercial visitors around the entire city and 'thin-out' the crush aspect to uphill. The downhill area is perfect as the train links and bus station is a main start point and surely everyone is given the opportunity to see the whole town. This council thinking is 'one-way' and I believe that it is downward.

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  • gazlincoln  |  October 18 2012, 9:44AM

    how the heck do you enforce one way pedestrianisation i think they have it on oxford st in that london at christmas. ive never been to the chrismtas market and dont intend on starting

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