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Philip Evans


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OTTERY: Parking clamp down to protect street market

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Organisers of Ottery St Mary’s historic street market have vowed to put a stop to the parking problems that blighted last year’s events. An attempt was made to restore the street market in May last year but persistent difficulties with enforcement of parking restrictions meant vehicles continued to block the road during market days and some owners refused to move them. Councillors decided to suspend the street market for three months from last July, and since then they have been working to ensure similar problems do not befall the market again. And ahead of its grand reopening next weekend, organisers are confident that parking issues will not affect this year’s markets. Councillor John Harding, who has been leading the organisation of the street market, said: “From April 2013 Devon County Council took responsibility for parking enforcement and we have been working with them over the last nine months to agree a deal. “Enforcement assistance will be in place and tickets will be issued to people who still refuse to move their vehicles. In addition, the police have said they will do what they can to help us.” According to the Ottery St Mary Heritage Society, the town’s street market dates back to 1226, but the town has been without a dedicated market of this kind for many years. And organisers say its return will provide a welcome boost for other traders in the town. Councillor Harding added: “The market is of significant benefit to the town and will help to support the established traders in Ottery St Mary. “The mayor and deputy mayor have been excellent and the council has worked miracles to get this done. Funding support from the National Lottery’s ‘Awards For All’ scheme and South West Water has also enabled us to make it happen. “The general feeling now is that everybody is pro-market and wants to see it succeed. I am confident we can get nearly as many traders as last year and with the summer months coming up that is only going to increase. “We will see a bigger variety of stalls and we will look to build on that and expand the market further over the course of the year.” Councillor Lyn Harding said: “Ottery St Mary is a traditional market town and it is only getting back what it should have. “Even in the three months it ran last year – when a third of the market was lost due to the parking problems – the market was able to gain a following and people do want to see it come back. “Last year was a trial, but this year it will be the real thing.” Ottery’s Town Crier Toni Williams-Pugh will officially open the street market on Friday, May 2nd in Mill Street at 8.30am, and the council intends to keep the market running each month for the rest of the year.


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