A Thursday market could be added in Saffron Walden

PUBLISHED: 08:00 31 July 2020

Saffron Walden market. Photo: Celia Bartlett Photography.

Saffron Walden market. Photo: Celia Bartlett Photography.

Copyright © 2020 Celia Bartlett Photography. All rights reserved

A Thursday market could be on the cards for Saffron Walden in addition to markets on Saturdays and Tuesdays - and could be themed.

The news comes as Monday road closure restrictions in the town centre have been lifted, in part to assist those with disabilities.

Saffron Walden Town Council’s Assets and Services Committee on Monday heard the new scheme had been due to start on August 3 but is already in force.

Roads are now closed Tuesdays to Saturdays.

Disabled badge holders can park for three hours on the east side of Market Street. Essex County Council has introduced 20mph zones and pavement widening at pinch point areas.

Some road changes were first introduced on June 15 for public safety and social distancing concerns and current restrictions may continue for 18 months.

The meeting heard the current pedestrianisation meant the possibility of adding tables and chairs, a Thursday market or community activity.

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Mayor Heather Asker suggested entertainers such as a juggler, musician or a clown supporting the Thursday market - with Cllr Freeman joking about the option of a fire-eater.

Terry Frostick, the council’s operations manager, said they could not currently attract crowds because of coronavirus rules. The meeting heard market traders have largely returned, and there is a long waiting list.

Councillor Richard Porch said: “It would raise additional revenue which seems like a very good idea to me at the moment.”

Cllr Barbara Light said they needed to ensure that adding tables and chairs not impact on cafes, and suggested a Thursday market be different to a Tuesday or Saturday.

Town council staff will work on the proposal.

An Essex Highways spokesperson said councillors and officers from Essex County, Uttlesford District and Saffron Walden Town Councils are working together to support both public safety and businesses in the town centre.

Saffron Walden BID has been running an online poll to gather residents views of the road closures.

Shara Vickers, BID chair, said: “We want residents to feel safe to spend time and shop in town with enough space to walk around. The road closures which are the jurisdiction of ECC, UDC and Town Council intend to achieve that.”

Residents not online are asked to write to the Tourist Information Centre, 1 Market St, Saffron Walden CB10 1HR or complete a form within TIC.

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