Traders, tenants and customers complain over Rotherham markets entrance closures

ROTHERHAM Council admitted entrance closures at the markets should have been handled better – as one trader reported losing £100 a day.
Rotherham Market.Rotherham Market.
Rotherham Market.

The Drummond Street way in and Eastwood Lane escalators were shut off as work steps up on the £31 million redevelopment.

But indoor market stallholders and the shops beside the now-demolished Rain building site say they have been hit because shoppers were not told about entrance closures.

Cllr Ian Jones said: “Over the last week I’ve had complaints off traders, tenants, customers. Anybody coming to visit town would usually park in the [Drummond Street] car park, walk across and into that side entrance.

Rotherham Market.Rotherham Market.
Rotherham Market.

“There’s been no signage to say that the entrance has been closed. I’ve been contacted by a couple of estate tenants, where they’ve got no access to the upper end of the market.

“The escalators coming through that entrance have now been fenced off, with no communication whatsoever, no signage as to how to access the three or four traders left on that top edge.

“They’re now getting requests from customers ringing them up, saying have you shut, or how do I get to you?

“One of them has even gone to the extent of actually looking at what their trading figures are, and he reckons that they’re down about £100 per day since we started doing this nearly a week ago.”

Tim O’Connell, head of the council’s regeneration arm RiDO, said: “There have certainly been some problems over the last week and we are aware of this. It certainly could have been better and we have to take that on board. There were some closures that happened that could have been better communicated.”

The redevelopment – originally expected to cost £16.6 million – will include bringing the library over from Riverside House.

This week the council also moved to clarify talk about the new markets being “cashless,” as has been mentioned in meeting papers.

At Tuesday’s Improving Places select commission, Cllr Rose McNeely said: “My concern is that although the young of today tend to do cashless because they are always carrying a card, the older person likes to deal with cash.”

Simon Moss, assistant director for planning, regeneration and transport, said the cashless aspect was about encouraging traders to pay RMBC digitally.

He added: “In terms of the customer offer, I think that’s more around enabling the customer to pay with digital payment if they choose to, not necessarily removing the cash option.”