MARKET traders in York have been given an extra hour for winter loading because of poor light and the threat of bad weather.

New rules introduced by City of York Council, which come into force on Sunday, will mean Newgate Market stallholders can load from 4pm between Sunday to Friday, as well as up to 10.30am, with a 5pm start-time remaining on Saturdays.

The authority said the relaxation was in response to traders’ requests and the arrangement will run until February 23.

It said the move was not linked to restrictions over pedestrianised hours introduced earlier this year, which banned vehicles from the city centre between 10.30am and 5pm and led to some traders claiming the market’s future was being jeopardised.

Coun Sonja Crisp, cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism, said: “We have listened carefully to what some of the traders have been telling us about their winter trading conditions, the light and the cold weather, and we are now acting on their comments and feedback.

"Traders who wish to may still trade until 5pm each day. In 2014, there will be considerable investment to make improvements to Newgate Market and we will again review arrangements with the traders at this point.”