I’ve been visiting the monthly Slow Food Market in Corn St in central Bristol since it started about five years ago.
The main problem with the market as far as I am concerned is the lack of parking in the Corn St area. Most of the streets around the Corn Exchange are double yellows with few parking bays.
Every time we go down there we end up driving around for ages looking for a parking space. Occasionally, as we once found to our cost about four years ago, parking wardens are patrolling around and picking on cars parked on the double yellow lines, and yes, we got towed and had to pay to get the car released.
This seems bonkers to me, Corn St isn’t a through road and the council are happy to close it off when it suits them, so why don’t they just remove all parking restrictions for the Sundays when the market is on?
That is what happens in France, where market days are a real event and people will park wherever they can, usually without any fear of a fine or getting their car impounded.
It seems to me that the one thing that would help the market develop would be to actually encourage people to come into the centre on a Sunday and be able to park and shop without worrying if their car will still be there when they have finished.
I will admit that the difficulty of finding a space to park has stopped us going down on many occasions, as well as meaning that when we have gone down, we have ended up driving around several times and then given up and gone to a supermarket instead.
The last few times we have managed to find a space, it has been noticeable that there are not as many stalls on a Sunday as there used to be.
Perhaps there needs to be something done about attracting people to go along and spend some money, because the stalls that are there are generally excellent and the produce on offer is well worth trying.