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‘Leave us alone!’ Chapel Market traders oppose Angel pedestrianisation

Stallholders speak out over proposal to block Liverpool Road traffic

19 July, 2019 — By Calum Fraser

John Papworth, who has had a fruit and veg stall at Chapel Market since the 1970s, says delivery vans must be allowed access

MARKET stallholders have asked conservationists to “leave them alone” after plans to close Liverpool Road were floated again.

Members of the Islington Society have written to councillors calling for the “permanent closure of the foot of Liverpool Road” in a bid to make the Angel area more pedestrian friendly.

But traders in Chapel Market have been dismayed by the idea, saying it would be a disaster for their delivery vans.

David Gibson, chairman of the Islington Society, said: “We are not talking about blanket closure with bollards. We want to slow traffic down and make it a place where pedestrians clearly have the priority.”

Mr Gibson added that the conservation group was only “investigating” the idea at the moment by putting together a consultation group.

They have not yet formally made a proposal.

He said: “The idea is to link Chapel Market and Angel Central. You could have tables there and buskers. Life could happen in that wasted space between Chapel Market and Angel Central. You want to extend that across the road. I think it will be much better.”

Traders on the market are wary of the scheme.

A similar idea was proposed in 1992 which was opposed by market traders and residents in the streets off Liverpool Road who felt the traffic would be diverted down there.

Ron Granger, who has worked on the market for more than 40 years, said: “Our opinion down here is for years they have been trying to do it and for years we have been against it. How are all the vans who service the market going to get here? They don’t seem to be worried about people making a living. We’ve had enough. Can’t they just leave us alone?”

John Papworth, who has had a fruit and veg stall on the market since the 1970s, said: “None of these changes ever seem to benefit the stallholders. If they want to bring this in they need to have some kind of exemption for us and our delivery vans.”

The Angel Town Centre Board is supporting the proposal, according to the Islington Society.

Mr Gibson added that they did not want to block the road from being used by buses or emergency service vehicles.

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