Road closures are “absolutely critical” to the survival of Chatsworth Road market, the organiser of the weekly street event has claimed.
And a survey of over 600 residents has revealed that four in five support a vehicle ban between the Dunlace and Rushmore Road junctions during market hours – from 11am until 4pm every Sunday.
Damian Patchell of Chatsworth Road Traders’ & Residents’ Association (CRTRA), which carried out the survey, said: “We see the Sunday road closure as absolutely critical to both the survival of Chatsworth Road market and improving the appeal and safety for both visitors and traders.
“Stopping traffic would allow us to expand the market and bring in the additional income required to move the management team into paid roles, rather than relying on generous local volunteers.
“We want to create a true social hub on Sundays, traffic-free, which would inevitably encourage people to use the street more often on other days of the week.”
The survey found that 75 per cent of respondents would spend more time at the market if the road was closed to traffic, and nearly nine in ten want to see traffic-calming measures on market day whether or not the road is closed.
More than half of those surveyed would like to see such measures introduced for every day of the week.
Lea Bridge ward councillor Ian Rathbone has championed the market since its reopening in 2010 following a 20-year absence.
He said: “When we first started it six years ago, it was always part of the agreed development that Chatsworth Road would be closed to traffic if the market became successful. It is successful.
“Please Hackney Council and Transport for London (TfL) – carry out your previous commitment and listen to residents’ views and arrange for this road to be closed for a few hours on Sundays as soon as possible.”
Cllr Feryal Demirci, the newly-appointed cabinet member for transport, said: “The council has arranged road closures for previous events in Chatsworth Road, including the recent festival and last year’s Christmas market.
“At the moment, it is unlikely that we would be able to facilitate any additional road closures due to concerns raised by the emergency services, including the need for access to Homerton Hospital, and by TfL, who run several bus routes along the road.
“We have not received any requests for more road closures, however we are happy to continue to work with the market to ensure safe access.”