Broadway Market to close this weekend
The street market at Broadway Market will not open this Saturday and Sunday, after two weekends in three where the Council has been forced to close it early as a result of overcrowding caused by queuing at nearby licensed premises.
Despite only a small proportion of market stalls opening, takeaway alcohol and food sales - which are permitted under the Government’s lockdown guidance - at nearby businesses resulted in large numbers of visitors on two of the past three weekends. No market stalls are licensed to sell alcohol.
The Council decided to close the street market early on Sunday as a result of this overcrowding, and also did the same on Saturday 7 November.
While the Council has no power to enforce social distancing, police and council officers will continue to be deployed to the street.
In the last week, the police have served 21 prohibition notices to businesses in and around Broadway Market, which require premises to stop what officers consider to be unsafe activity, in order to limit the spread of coronavirus.
Council licensing officers will also continue to be deployed to ensure shops on the street are trading in line with Government coronavirus guidance, which only permits the sale of takeaway alcohol if it is pre-ordered.
Only a fraction of the usual Broadway Market stalls were open this weekend in line with the Council’s Covid-secure street markets plan, however large numbers of visitors collecting takeaway food and alcohol from some nearby shops led to severe overcrowding along the street, which meant we were forced to close the market early on Sunday.
The street market has been operating with increased social distancing measures, a new layout and with stewarding by market officers. On behalf of the Council, I would like to thank all stallholders for their cooperation and hard work in making sure the street market is safe for customers and traders alike but, sadly, we are left with no option but to close the market this weekend on the grounds of public safety and containing the Covid-19 virus. It is disappointing that we have been forced to take this step, which is solely down to the numbers of people wanting to visit what is a small narrow street which means that social distancing is impossible to ensure.
The Council has no powers to enforce social distancing, however we have worked closely with the police to issue prohibition notices to shops along the street, warning them to follow coronavirus guidance and licensing regulations. Licensing and enforcement officers will continue to be deployed to ensure that shops are trading responsibly, with police support to manage social distancing.
We would urge visitors to Broadway Market to follow the Government’s coronavirus guidance and help protect others from infection: stay at home, do not gather with those you do not live with and ensure you’re always two metres apart from those not in your household.