Debate

Wednesday morning ‘traffic chaos’ in Hedon Market Place

Traffic bus

HEDON’S WEDNESDAY MARKET is one of the features of living in Hedon. It provides additional variety to that provided in our local shops and is a regular attraction that brings visitors and shoppers into the town.

However, the setting up of the market on a Wednesday morning does bring with it some problems as resident Mr Alan Hudson explained on our Facebook page after getting caught up in town centre traffic a couple of weeks ago:

“Did anyone else get caught up in the traffic chaos in Hedon this morning?” asked Mr Hudson on the 14th January 2015, “…traders were unloading on one side of Market place, a van parked on the other side.

“Traffic was backed up down George St and St Augustine Gate. A car would probably have got through but a school bus would have had no chance. Time for a traffic warden at this time on a Wednesday morning!”

The Hedon Blog took Mr Hudson’s comments to last week’s Hedon Town Council public meeting and offered to take some photos on a Wednesday morning. Today I spent just over 30 minutes from 8am being a ‘traffic watcher’ and have arrived at the following conclusions.

Market Hill Car Park sign for Market Day 2The traffic this morning flowed quite quickly and there were no major problems, congestion or hold-ups. However, when school buses picked-up at the Market Place bus stop it indicated some of the problems that could occur if a large vehicle stopped for more than a few minutes in the main road; being unable to pass the bus because of the market traders’ vans, traffic quickly built up behind it and you could imagine how very quickly St Augustine’s Gate and George Street could clog up with long tail backs. In extreme circumstances those tail-backs could lengthen to affect Baxtergate in the east and the main road (New Road/Fletchergate) in the south.

Only two vans were unloading for the market at this particular time and stalls were being erected next to the stationary vehicles. By observation of the scene then it may have been possible for the vans to have parked nearer the kerb rather than next to their pitches whilst unloading? This would allow some room for traffic travelling north to overtake the bus (or other stopped vehicle). But whether today’s situation with only two traders’ vans is the norm – or if there are usually more than two unloading at the same time – requires further investigation. It obviously would make sense if the traders did stagger their arrival at the market.

The other thing to note is that despite the Market Place being a ‘No-Parking’ area from 6am on a Wednesday, there were at least three cars parked there.  Some traders arriving at this time obviously wouldn’t have been able to set up their pitches.

In the case of an accident or the breakdown of a large vehicle (or the road being blocked otherwise) you can easily see how horrendous congestion and hold-ups could occur. But in the normal setting up of the market, then such delays in the traffic flow could and should be avoidable.

Of course traffic problems cause annoyance to motorists, and if they happen frequently enough on a Wednesday morning, it will prompt some to question whether the Wednesday market is worth the bother. A frustrated Mr Hudson said: “Perhaps we should get rid of the outdated market. I would think everything they sell can be bought locally.”

24 replies »

  1. Just by way of an update on this long standing problem, the Hedon Town Council has been successful in securing a grant of £10,000 to enable us to contribute towards the cost of ERYC’s upgrading and expanding of the Station Yard Car Park, work on which we are anticipating will commence in the next few months.
    All we want now is for many of those shop workers, business owners, GP’s staff etc etc to actually use this facility, rather than taking up valuable parking spaces which results in the clogging up of the town centre.
    But will they???
    Time will tell.
    John P. Dennis. ERYC Ward Member for S.W.Holderness. Hedon Town Councillor.

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  2. I agree with much of what Jenny Scruton says except – it’s not the Town Council that wants to close the market down That came from a number of the traders!
    The whole market/parking issue remains a hot topic and a working group is to undertake a review and report back to council soon.
    John Dennis 668th Mayor of Hedon

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  3. I have looked at this blog because the word around Hedon is that the Town Council want to close the market down. I hope this is not the case. I do not live in Hedon, but come in regularly and do most of my shopping here. We love the atmosphere and the shopkeepers are wonderful, so friendly and helpful. We particularly like Wednesdays as Hedon is buzzing (except when the weather is bad, as has happened so many Wednesdays recently). I never use the ‘duplicate’ stalls, as it is not fair on existing shops, though surely they can stand a bit of competition once a week. There are other stalls as well selling different items we cannot usually buy here, which attract customers who then patronise the other facilities. Surely the answer is to penalise the selfish drivers who park thoughtlessly, not get rid of the market all together. No Parking except to unload between 8 – 9am and 3-4 pm would help, and get the police (not the jobsworth traffic warden) to deal with it. Totally agree with the comments from Graham, and the parking problem in the Market Place is not confined to Wednesday, people park wherever they like all the week, despite the regulations. ERYC need to review the regulations and then enforce them.

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  4. Rules are made, fines are issued (very occasionally), cars are moved on (very occasionally), car parks are stuffed full, and so on and so on. If you use a mediaeval town centre and go on building further and further afield with more and more homes sporting several cars the inevitable problems will follow. If more local people walked to the market, shops or other services in the town centre and car drivers stopped behaving in an anarchic fashion there would be far less problems; and if the government and planning authorities do not take into account the ensuing problems when infrastructure is not developed to support new dwellings and the increased population, things will only get worse.
    As far as the market is concerned may it thrive and its traders with it. It brings people into Hedon and in the main the shops benefit from the surge in the customer base.

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    • Agree, Peter. More homes = more cars (some households now have 3 or more!). And some people, although able, just aren’t willing to walk anywhere. Not sure what the answer is, but I think a mixture of council initiatives and a rethink on how we use our cars sometimes, is in order.

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  5. I enjoyed reading these comments and would like to add that some of the people who park near the Co-op or HSBC may be blue badge holders who need to be near the shops and perhaps can’t park elsewhere on a Wednesday. Of course no one should park on the bus space as that is illegal. By the way I must admit that although I like to see the market, and occasionally shop there, I make a point of not buying stuff that I can get from local shops. I believe that supporting our local shops is very important. As for the whole parking debacle I’m afraid it goes with the territory – we live in a small and beautiful old town and therefore we have to put up with the problems that the narrow streets cause.

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  6. I am a market trader in Hedon, I am local ( Thorngumbald) , as are a number of other traders. I love Hedon market as I see many people I know and it is generally very friendly. Reading some of the comments here I would like to give you a traders point of view. We do stagger our arrivals as best we can to avoid congestion, and will unload quickly so we can get out of the way. I stand at the roadside with my stall and it can be very scary at times. Car drivers are the worst, they will speed by very close to the stalls, one car clipped the back of a stall next to me last year, luckily the owner of the stall wasn’t hurt but very shaken and she never came back. Cars will park on the double yellow lines constantly throughout the day, so that When we start to bring vans on it causes a road block. If we see the owners we will politely ask them to move only to be met with verbal abuse or “they won’t be a minute”. I try to pack up as quickly as I can because the minute there is a space next to me from a trader who has left I know a car will pull in no matter how small the gap is. This is not only dangerous to me but to people still using the market, I have had my stock damaged and nearly been ran over in this way, it is very frightening at times. The whole traffic situation in Hedon needs addressing, the traders did raise this issue with the local council 2 years ago, but as usual nothing was done. I believe the market does bring more custom into Hedon and tourists also go there in the summer, but please John Dennis or whoever it concerns do something before there is a big accident.

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  7. An update to my earlier post !!
    As said due to the weather the market has not turned up and as such customers are parking in the spaces in the Market Place where the market would normally be.
    A traffic wardens just turned up, allegedly on the request of Councillor Bryant and is now booking every car parked in the parking spaces.
    This is the help that the local traders receive from Hedon Town Council, disgraceful !!!

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    • Having now spoken to both John Dennis and Mike Bryant it appears that this situation is more to do with East Riding Council than Hedon Town Council. Also it appears that Councillor Bryant had requested that the traffic wardens attend last Wednesday rather than this. I am sure Councillor Bryant will elaborate on this at some time in the future.

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    • Booze up’s in breweries spring to mind here. If the market’s not there you shouldn’t get a ticket for parking in a designated space. The whole parking situation in Hedon is an utter joke, I tried parking on Market Hill to get to the doctors last week. Shame our Council can’t put their hands in their pockets and spend some money to sort out parking arrangements. This wouldn’t happen in Beverley.

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  8. Ray today was exceptionally quite as due to the weather most of the market traders didn’t turn up. Only three traders where here, normally there is a dozen or so, all with vans blocking the road.
    Contrary to popular belief the market offers no help to the local traders, indeed most local traders takings suffer dramatically.
    The market takes up customer parking within the centre and most of the stalls on the market are duplicates of the local shops ie fruit & veg, butchers, florists etc.
    I am not against the market, indeed Hedon is a market town and as such should always have a market in place, however I feel that the location of the market should be examined to see if a more adequate location could be found, perhaps for instance Market Hill.
    I also feel that the local traders should be helped more, they pay premium rent and rates on a weekly basis to trade from Hedon and then find market traders turning up on a Wednesday competing against them. Hedon Town Council campaign for local people to support local businesses and then allow this situation to occur!!

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  9. The problem lies with those that park outside of HSBC and Co-Op, illegal parking here needs to be enforced at all times of day. The chaos on the 14th was caused by a security van delivering to HSBC although it wasn’t helped by the market traders van parked on the opposite side.

    It’s time the police and ERYC clamped down this illegal parking, I bet Co-Op would discourage it if their drinks licence depended on it.

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    • I’m intrigued Aly. Why should the Co-op’s licencing arrangements be threatened due to the selfish and illegal parking which is all too common in the Market Place?

      I’m afraid this is ingrained behaviour. It’s not just on a Wednesday. Nor is it limited to times when the Market Place car park spots are full. People regularly leave cars on double yellow lines even when numerous spaces are available.

      I fail to see why the Council would be prepared to support those ticketed for illegal parking last Wednesday in their attempts to get legitimately issued tickets overturned. Perhaps if more people thought they might get a ticket for their selfish actions, the level of parking problems in Hedon may reduce in time.

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      • Licencees have a responsibility to their local area. The Co-op should be prepared to discourage their customers parking outside their store. Local Authorities are within their rights to take this kind of action.

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        • Aly,
          Those that use the local facilities have a responsibility to the local area, whether residents or not… Do as you would be done by, and all that.

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  10. An interesting idea. Yes the traffic can be an issue. It’s an issue every day and especially weekends when inconsiderate motorists can’t be bothered to use the car park and instead stop in the restricted area to use cash machines and do shopping in co op etc as they will “only be five minutes”.

    In five minutes a hazard is created for pedestrians trying to cross between parked vehicles and those reversing out of parking spaces.

    Enforcement needs to be taken here. Park illegally expect a ticket ?

    And no – I use the car parks when I need to be in the centre.

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    • Exactly the point I was going to make Mark. I got stuck in the traffic jam Mr Hudson was referring to and it had nothing to do with the market vans it was the fact people were parked outside the HSBC and The Coop and a bus was picking up passengers and the driver couldn’t get to the kerb because of those illegally parked vehicles.

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  11. Maybe Mr Hudson does not realise that some people, from surrounding areas, come into Hedon, only on a market day, particularly for the Market and, in turn shop in our local shops and meet up in our local cafes, therefore bringing a little more business to Hedon.

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      • Yes people do come from nearby villages, but they use the market stalls which are the same as local shops therefore taking trade from business owners in Hedon. Cafes however prosper. Card stall distroys Beckitts and occasions, meat stall distroys the Butchers, the bits and bobs stall distroys Carmichael’s, flower stall distroys Gale’s flower shop, fruit stall distroys fresh n fruity, need I say more. If the market traders don’t turn up, the market traders themselves park in the spare spots blocking out the view of the shops, and the light I am sure when shop owners look out of their windows they don’t want to see an array of white vans, is this also not illegal parking, I have never seen a trader get a ticket. Church lane on a Wednesday is so so bad, glad I don’t live there.

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        • Hi Carol, You say destroy everyones business. But I am sure you know that the Market only offers people an alternative shopping experience and it is up to the individual to make the choice on where they buy their goods. This is called healthy competition. The Market brings people into the town who otherwise may not choose to come to Hedon. The traffic congestion is caused mainly by inconsiderate shoppers and illegally parked vehicles. On the 28th Jan the Market was cancelled due to the extreme weather conditions. (Health and Safety concerns for traders and general Public). With regard to the Market traders parking their vans on the site. The traders are not allowed to park their vans on the Market. There are certain exceptions such as poor weather conditions where the trader is allowed to park their vehicle to offer some kind of shield against the elements. We also try to use cones to block off the Market area during Market day to try and stop people parking in areas where the traders have not turned up. But again the general public just turn up move the cones and park, If a trader makes a comment the reply is either a tirade of abuse or sorry but I am only nipping in somewhere and will only be a minute. So if you are local you know there is no parking on aWednesday so please do not try to park there should there be only half a market or no market, you will get a ticket. Also please observe the parking regulations which are clearly signposted.

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