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New safety measures implemented at Broadway Market after it becomes ‘unbelievably rammed’

PUBLISHED: 19:04 18 November 2020 | UPDATED: 19:04 18 November 2020

A new separate market for essential shopping has been introduced at Broadway market to combat overcrowding, with extra police officers. Picture: Louise Brewood

A new separate market for essential shopping has been introduced at Broadway market to combat overcrowding, with extra police officers. Picture: Louise Brewood

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Broadway Market introduced a separate food section to reduce congestion after having to shut early twice this month due to overcrowding.

A new separate market for essential shopping has been introduced at Broadway market to combat overcrowding, with extra police officers. Picture: Louise BrewoodA new separate market for essential shopping has been introduced at Broadway market to combat overcrowding, with extra police officers. Picture: Louise Brewood

Louise Brewood, support officer for the Association of Broadway Traders (ABT), said the measures came into place after the famous market was “unbelievably rammed”.

She explained that local families who go to the market to buy meat, fruit and vegetables felt it was “not safe” to do so.

From now on, there will be a “small, contained market” to allow local people to do essential shopping, with footfall “controlled in and out,” said Louise.

READ MORE: Shop Local: Markets are ‘first stone’ in building up economy, say Hackney traders

Additionally, only 29 out of 150 stalls were operating on the first weekend of November.

Louise, who is also chair of the London Fields Safer Neighbourhoods panel, continued: “I also raised it as a major issue with our police and they’ve agreed to provide extra police support.”

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Last weekend, extra police and Hackney Council licensing officers enforced safety measures already implemented by Hackney Council, which includes queuing mechanisms, maximum capacity limits and on-hand staff.

The “only problem I can now see is bars churning out alcohol and groups gathering again,” Louise added.

Kevin Flemen, secretary of London Fields User Group, said there was “significant levels of alcohol use and crowding around the park entrance and along the canal”.

Hackney Council has written to all businesses to remind them of the government’s guidance, including on the sale of alcohol.

Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas, cabinet member for community safety at the council, said: “We were forced to take the decision to close early because of large numbers of people congregating around shops selling takeaway alcohol.

“We have written to businesses this week (on November 12) to urge them to follow government coronavirus guidance, but we will be forced to take action if they do not comply.”

Cllr Guy Nicholson, cabinet member for planning, culture and inclusive economy, commended the traders who have been operating in line with a Covid-secure plan since August.

“We are committed to ensuring the market can continue to trade during lockdown in line with government guidance, and are working closely with traders on a new layout for the market,” he said.


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