Bognor Regis general market returns with a ‘phased reopening’
Traders are back in operation at the Bognor Regis general market in London Road.
The Bognor Regis BID, which runs the market, is taking a phased approach to reopening and has been working closely with traders to test out the effect of different factors.
The return to the London Road was delayed, so that it could be established how businesses’ queuing systems affected the amount of pavement available.
A ‘soft opening’ was held on July 9 with a reduced number of stall-holders.
Heather Allen, BID Co-Ordinator, said: “The first day went really smoothly – the traders have all worked hard to make their stalls and operations Covid-19 Secure in line with government guidelines, and we monitored throughout the day to make sure pedestrians had plenty of space to either stop to shop or pass by.
“It was great to get really positive feedback from the traders, and they were really touched by the positive support they’d had from shoppers happy to see them back in town.”
To start with, the market will operate on Thursdays only between 9am and 5pm, with gradually increasing numbers of traders over the weeks.
A full review will be held after the first two weeks.
Subject to ongoing monitoring and review, Saturday trading will be reintroduced on July 25.
Jason Passingham, BID Chairman, said they were taking ‘a very careful approach’ to the reopening.
He said: “The market has been risk assessed, and the traders have all carried out their own individual risk assessments and taken actions to make sure their stalls are Covid 19 secure.
“To make sure we get it right, we’ll be starting off with a very limited number of stall holders – all experienced traders that have been regularly operating under the BID’s Trading Licence, positioned at the southern end of London Road to maximise the amount of social distancing spaces needed further up for businesses’ queuing systems and pedestrians.
“Once we’re satisfied everything’s running safely and smoothly, we’ll look to increase the number of stalls, but safety will be the priority in any decisions that are made.”