‘It’s dead out here’: Islington Council criticised over enforcement cameras and delays in rejuvenating Chapel Market
PUBLISHED: 12:23 21 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:43 21 February 2020
Chapel Market store owners claim traffic enforcement cameras installed six months ago are just a council “cash cow” because the town hall hasn’t delivered on its promises.
In July, Islington Council introduced the cameras to enforce a ban on driving and deliveries during market hours, citing health and safety concerns and a desire to rejuvenate the stretch of road between Baron Street and Penton Street.
The council imposed the traffic order to try and make this stretch more appealing for traders and shoppers but, the Gazette understands, a lack of storage and production facilities in the area has put off new stallholders.
Islington Council has recently applied for funding from the mayor of London's good growth fund so it can improve the area and build a new affordable workspace development for traders.
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But Nav Johal, who's run the market's Tech Exchange store for the past 12 years, said: "This has killed our business. A month after it started our business was slow because people weren't parking up and it has been really slow since then, it's dead out here. They said they'd make it busier but it hasn't happened."
Other businesses have complained the traffic restrictions make it difficult to take deliveries.
The council banned people driving down the market between 9.45pm to 4pm on Tuesday to Saturday. The street has also been pedestrianised from 8.30am to 11am on Mondays and between 9.45am and 2pm on Sundays.
Chair of the Chapel Market Traders Association David Twydell said: "I want to see more stalls up that end but if it's not going to be used for the market [the council] might as well lift the restrictions. It's silly having that half of the market closed off [to deliveries] if only half of the market is being used. I want to see some action. We want to see a car boot sale on Saturday and some craft stalls. If it's not being used open it up to deliveries."
Islington Council's business chief Cllr Asima Shaikh said: "The traffic management order was put in place in response to market traders' complaints regarding safety, and comments on the ability of the market to establish itself along the whole road. The traffic order had the support of traders, and we are working with them to identify and source new traders to ensure that the market remains vibrant and appealing in its retail offering to visitors."