Video: Market blamed for loss of trade

PUBLISHED: 18:17 02 April 2008 | UPDATED: 06:57 30 May 2010

THE Continental Market in Dunmow caused joy and outrage in equal measure as it rolled into town on Saturday. Although punters came into the town centre in their droves, Market Place traders have accused the overseas sellers of undercutting their business

THE Continental Market in Dunmow caused joy and outrage in equal measure as it rolled into town on Saturday.

Although punters came into the town centre in their droves, Market Place traders have accused the overseas sellers of undercutting their business by not taking up agreed stand positions.

Neil Hardiman, owner of Banana Travel, fumed: "It was agreed with the Dunmow Town Strategy Group (DTSG) that stalls would be positioned in the centre of the Market Place so that we could operate as normal.

"They were not and as a result we have suffered a loss of revenue on what could have been a very profitable day."

His comments were echoed by Joe Sontag, owner of the Curiosity Shop in Market Place, who said she had lost about £400 in takings.

She said: "It was terrible. It affected my business last year and this year.

"We were promised by the Dunmow Chamber of Commerce and Dunmow town strategy group that it would be properly organised this year, but they let us down. Stalls completely blocked my shop."

Jacks shopowner, Darren Cox, agreed saying he even had to ask one trader to move just to get any sort of access to his shop.

He said had it been organised better it would have been a great day out and that he readily supported a weekly market in Market Place.

On the day, customers appeared to lap up the continental atmosphere as crowds peaked at around 1pm.

Available were cheeses from France, pottery, olives from Italy and cider from all corners of the world. Terry Francis, of Abbey View in Duton Hill, said: "It was a wonderful day, it is great to see Dunmow come alive again.

"I feared on the parking side of things, but happily everything seems to have gone without a hitch."

However at around 5pm road closure signs were removed on North Street before the market traders had packed up causing chaos as cars turned around in the tight narrow road just outside The Starr.

Mr Hardiman said: "We had people driving up curbs and straight through as they packed up, it became very dangerous."

Cllr Mark Gaylor from DTSG said: "I was in a few shops on Saturday and was told they were rushed off their feet. It is unfortunate some lost revenue.

"We had hoped to position the stalls in the middle of market place facing outwards, but due to fire regulations this was not possible.

"We will look into the positioning of the stalls for next time.

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