Concerns have been raised due to overcrowding and congestion in the town centre as a result of the high numbers of visitors to the Christmas Market. Long queues and coach congestion have created unease that the market has become too big and risks becoming a victim of its own success.
The extra numbers are clear every day as people squeeze in to The Open and have to wait in long queues for entry to the market itself. Some visitors have been waiting for more than 30 minutes to get in to the market. Unexpectedly large numbers of coach trips have led to gridlock on adjoining roads, with coach drop-offs creating severe traffic problems and long tailbacks building up as cars try to enter the town centre car parks.
Town Councillor Trevor Adams, who’s Ward includes Winton Cathedral, said “We are a relatively small town and just the sheer weight of numbers has created serious capacity issues. It’s the forward planning which concerns me and I would like assurances about safety before next year. We need to sort out the security and stewarding arrangements.”
A Town Council spokesperson added “The town centre has been extremely busy. We will be making recommendations concerning public transport, park and rid, and walking alternatives ahead of next year.”
The thousands of extra visitors are expected to be a bonanza for local shops, pubs and cafés.