TRADERS and customers were angered after stallholders at Shambles Market were told not to turn up for work today.

Douglas Unwin, who has been buying his fruit and vegetables at the site since he moved to York 40 years ago, said he went down to the market as usual in the morning and was told it had been closed for the day.

He said: “We thought it was perfectly safe, the weather conditions were fine.

“The traders have had their livelihoods taken from under them and as consumers we weren’t able to go and do our shopping."

Stallholder Michael Harrison, whose family have run a business at Shambles Market since 1947, said he was told not to set up his stall on Friday morning when he called the market on Thursday afternoon.

He said: “It’s an absolute disgrace.

"I’m only there on Friday and Saturday, it’s the only chance I have to make a wage for the week. I have bills to pay. For the amount of snow that was there, there was no need to shut the market. I could have got there in the morning, got set up and been told to pack up and go away. They are only interested in the food court now.”

But Chris Price, head of city centre and markets at Make It York, which manages the site, said traders were told of the closure at around 3.20pm on Thursday.

He said: “This decision was made due to the current icy weather conditions and health and safety concerns for traders and the public.

"We’ve done all we can to notify people and we aim to have the market running fully again from Saturday. We fully understand it is frustrating for both traders and customers, however, safety has to be our key priority. It was a difficult decision to make and on balance we felt the icy conditions could potentially create safety issues.

"We are fully committed to promoting Shambles Market and the addition of the Food Court has generated increased footfall into the area.

"We’re working hard to create a busy atmosphere, appealing to different ages, as well as to people who want to eat and drink al fresco and buy and shop local. So far this has proved very popular.”