Wisbech Market Place experimental order

AN experimental order relating to proposed changes to Wisbech Market Place could be in place by November.

Wisbech Town Council, as new owners of the Market Place, are moving ahead with plans to try to end the long-existing conflict and confusion between pedestrians and vehicles in that area.

Cambs County Council is putting the order in place for 18 months on behalf of the Town Council in a bid to try the favoured Option Two for the Market Place, which is for a partial ban on vehicles.

Leader of Wisbech Town Council, David Oliver, said: “We will not let this opportunity to improve the Market Place slip away. We have already had meetings with the County Council and officers of Fenland District Council that have been really productive. We have also had a meeting with market stallholders, as well as spoken with people on the Market Place and most people want the Market Place sorted. We will do that. It is going to take a little time, but we will sort it.”

The experimental order will give the opportunity to try out the scheme and highlight any potential problems.

It will see the Market Place divided to make it a more ‘pedestrian-friendly’ market, while providing some short-term free parking. Disabled bays will be increased eventually from six to 16 and one half of Wisbech Market Place will have general, time-limited parking on non-market days.

On Market Days (Thursdays and Saturdays) there will be no parking except for disabled parking around the market area and only in marked disabled bays.

Ownership of the Market Place was transferred to the Town Council on July 27 by Fenland District Council who owned it since 1974. With the transfer came £25,000 from the District and a promise of another £25,000 from the County Council on the basis that the Town Council improve the Market Place – and the Town Council have said they are ready to do that – and to offer more market stalls the opportunities to set up in Wisbech.

Options to improve access to the Market Place have been under examination for some time as part of the Wisbech Transport Strategy.

The Market Place area is currently subject to restrictions on vehicular access but the lack of effective enforcement results in little practical control.

However, the Town Council says it aims to change this, with clear demarcation between pedestrians and vehicles.

• Contact the Town Clerk Erbie Murat if you are interested in taking a market stall on Thursdays or Saturdays on Wisbech Market Place by calling 01945-461333 or email: wisbechtcerbie@aol.com