An experiment involving the relocation of Holbeach market is under way, with traders showing both support and uncertainty about the move.
Holbeach’s outdoor market on Thursdays and Saturdays has been moved from High Street, outside All Saints Church, to Boston Road South car park on health and safety grounds.
We’ve definitely been busier and people have said that the market has more of a community feel so they can talk to each otherNina Kruszelnicki of SJA Produce
The move came about after a 67-year-old woman was hit by a van and trailer when she fell from her mobility scooter into the road while riding on a narrow pavement in front of one of the stalls on a market day in July.
Traders have also threatened to go elsewhere due to claims about the small number of customers using the market.
A trial period of at least one month started last Thursday and one of the market traders, Nina Kruszelnicki of SJA Produce, said: “We’ve definitely been busier and there’s definitely been an increase in the number of customers visiting us.
“People have been really positive and said that the market has more of a community feel, so they can talk to each other and see all of the traders.”
Flower seller Richard Brooks of Elite Plants said: “It’s where we wanted to move to years ago and everyone who came to my stall has been positive.
“It’s bigger, better and safer so I don’t want to go back to where we were before.”
But a trader from Rout’s of Wisbech, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s been slow unlike before when people would see us as they drove past and stop to buy something.
“I don’t know where it’s because of where I am but when the market stall was on High Street, the first customers would come at 7am or 8am, stop quickly and then go.”
Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, portfolio for green spaces at South Holland District Council, said: “Holbeach is a market town which deserves to have a vibrant, attractive market that shoppers are keen to visit.
“In recent years, many of the long-standing stallholders have retired and it has become increasingly difficult to find new traders to replace them. “We feared this could lead to the market closing for good so the move to Boston Road South car park, with its two hours of free parking, will serve to remind those using the nearby Tesco store that Holbeach has its own outdoor market.
“Also, we believe the move has the potential to bring new traders into the town selling a wide range of goods, adding to the vitality and vibrancy of Holbeach town centre.”