Take a look at the proposed Street Market Designs

Written by Future Brixton team

June 25, 2015
Categories: , , , ,

Over the last few weeks we have held a series of events to find out what residents and local business think of the development of Brixton Street Markets. The events are part of the stage one plan in developing a street market plan and the designs for the market streets.

 

We now want everyone to have their say in what they think of the designs and we would like to hear back from you by 10 July. To give us your feedback you can email futurebrixton@lambeth.gov.uk or tweet us @futurebrixton.

To read more about the street markets click here.

Click on the images to enlarge.

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1 Thought on “Take a look at the proposed Street Market Designs

  1. Stuart horwood says:

    During my time as CEO and prior to that Chair of our Federation (10 years in total) two of the biggest demands from traders have been for bigger pitches and for more customers. Operation of the market is also an important issue.
    Bigger pitches
    The majority of traders on Electric Avenue trade outside their pitch dimensions as described in their licence with Lambeth Council. This has led to fines being issued for over pitching (sometimes by less than 1foot/30cm) and resentment along the lines of ‘why do I get fined when others don’t?’ and ‘if these are the market rules why aren’t they enforced?’
    This situation needs a solution. The best solution in my view is to give traders what they want, bigger pitches.  However the present layout of Electric Avenue doesn’t allow for this. Increase the pitch sizes and several traders in the High Street to Electric Lane stretch would have to move across the Electric Lane junction which would be unacceptable. 
    The plans drawn up by the consultants show pitch sizes of 4 metres by 2 metres which will give traders just over an extra 2 square metres (21.5 square feet) which is approximately 30% of extra licensed trading space. This meets with my approval.
    More customers
    There are thousands of potential extra customers for the street market – they walk along the High Street past Electric Avenue every day. How do we entice them into the market?
    The plans drawn up by the consultants show a layout which opens up the entrance to the market with the intention of making it more inviting. Think of any shopping centre…..they normally have a welcoming, open feel, enticing customers in to spend their money. The importance of the entrance cannot be overemphasised, and I believe the plans show a much improved gateway (and exit) to the whole market area, not just Electric Avenue.
    The proposed layout for the rest of the pitches is more controversial and needs careful thought. People enter and exit Electric Avenue from both end as well as via Electric Lane, so in theory there should be no dead spots. The reality is somewhat different, with traders prefering not to work directly in front of some shops, especially butchers and fishmongers, for instance.
    The south side of Electric Avenue is the busier side of the street, so it would appear that opening up the street with the proposed layout will allow better pedestrian flow across both sides. The south side is often congested and could benefit from the removal of clutter and moving the stalls away from the shop-line…..but only if this space is closely monitored or else the temptation will be for the shops to encroach even further.

    The back-to-back, perpendicular-to-the-curb proposed layout for the pitches further along the Avenue has downsides and upsides. Traders facing away from the High Street may feel at a disadvantage, however there could be an opportunity for the two facing traders to create their own ‘dwell space’ between their stalls if they so wished. The gap between the facing stalls is crucial – too small and people walking east-west along the Avenue will not notice the stall; too big and we will have to lose pitches and potential income to the street trading account.
    I’m more cautious with my approval for this part of the proposed lay-out. The fact that I have never seen this in action anywhere on my extensive travels means I have no comparison. However I believe the potential for opening up the street and allowing the small dwell spaces between facing stalls is a very compelling proposition.
    Market operation
    The significant ommission from the proposed layout is access for vans during setup and knockdown. Presently 5 traders need to access the market with their vans carrying their stock and in two cases their stall as well. Setup and knockdown are possibly the most significant times in a trader’s working day and need to be done as quickly and easily as possible. There are few loading bays in the area, they are not exclusive to traders and the demand for them from other retail outlets in the area is high. How are traders expected to set their stalls out if they can’t park nearby and access the market area? Unloading a van full of fruit and veg is a difficult operation at the best of times, expecting a trader to wheel their entire day’s stock a considerable distance is an unreasonable expectation and something that has been overlooked by the consultants. This is a root issue that needs to be addressed before the proposed plans progress further.
    Conclusion
    Once the vitally important unloading/loading issue has been dealt with this is an interesting proposal which has the potential to fulfil many traders’ wishes – bigger pitches and more customers. However this is such a radical proposition that I believe a trial run of at least one month should proceed before any final, irreversible decisions are made. The Avenue is about to be resurfaced anyway, so now seems to be the time to paint some lines onto the road, give it a try and see what happens. If traders are happy and can access the street during setup/knockdown, the proposal will get my, and it would be far more likely, traders’ backing.

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