Page 21 - MarketTimesJune2014
P. 21

  Market Times • June 2014
going up, and will reduce the market area.
Clearly, there are no easy solutions. But some traders feel that if Reading Borough Council doesn’t do something to help the market, it will deteriorate still further.
Majid Ali, who has sold rugs and bedding on the market for the past five years, said: “A lady who has been shopping in Reading for eight years told me she didn’t realise there was a market and was surprised to find us.”
And Nila Beg, who has sold bags on the market for 15 years, said: “It’s very bad. There are no signs to tell people where the market is and it is just getting quieter and quieter.”
At Reading Council, Coun Tony Page, Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said the Civic Centre was at the end of its design life and the presence of asbestos made it difficult and increasingly expensive to maintain. This meant the council had to move from the Civic Centre to Plaza West.
“The council’s move will also provide the catalyst for the redevelopment of the town centre site, which includes the current market,” he added. “The redevelopment will enable a new revitalised market to be provided as part of the regeneration proposals.”
He said the council was fully committed to continuing to provide a general market for the residents of Reading and it was intended that an improved market would form an integral part of the regeneration of the area.
“The current market is located close to bus stops and is also on a direct route between the two main shopping malls. The council made St Mary’s Butts into a two way street recently, which has also significantly increased its accessibility by public transport.”
But he ruled out moving the market to Gerry’s favoured location.
“West Street is a key bus route in the town centre which would make pedestrianisation impossible at this time,” he said.
Nila Beg, who has been selling bags on the market for the past 15 years, is dreading the start of next year when the civic building will close and footfall will dwindle still further

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