MARKET traders have given a mixed response to plans to extend pedestrianised hours in streets in the centre of York.

As reported in The Press yesterday, City of York Council is to extend the period of time that vehicles are barred from city-centre streets as part of an 18-month experiment.

The plans will see cars banned from Davygate for most of the day, and footstreet hours will be applied between 10.30am and 5pm every day from March 18. Under the current rules, cars are barred only until 4pm Monday to Friday, and 4.30pm on Saturdays.

The aim is to keep shoppers and pedestrians safe and make the city-centre shopping experience better.

Roy Hardy, who runs a poster stall in Newgate Market, and Graham Hey, who has a stall selling magic tricks, both welcomed the move.

Between them, the stalls have been regular fixtures at the market for more than 20 years, and both said they felt the extended footstreet times will increase daily trade as the market will be able to stay open longer.

Roy said: “If markets are going to compete with shops they need to stay open longer.

“We pack away at 4pm but shops open until 5.30pm. Some people pack away before 4pm, and if customers see people packing away it can put them off going to the market as they think it’s closing.”

Graham said: “You feel like you’re turning people away.”

Gordon David, runs a fruit and veg stand four days a week, which has been running for more than 30 years.

He said he thought the changes were a bad idea.

He said that when he works at the market, his day started at 3am, and he probably would not get home until 7pm because of traffic under the new changes, which he felt would cause traffic to build up.

He said: “I am going to be doing 16 hours a day. I am not very happy.”