Shirebrook market staff ‘threatened’ by motorists

Market Street Shirebrook
Market Street Shirebrook

Leaders at Shirebrook Town Council say they will no longer cordon off the Market Place pedestrian zone after staff were threatened by motorists.

The council said market staff employed by the authority to enforce the pedestrian zone around the square have been verbally abused and threatened with violence on a number of occasions.

The entrance to the square at the junction of Market Street and Station Road was coned off to try to prevent drivers from ignoring the pedestrian zone.

However, motorists have been driving the wrong way around the square, entering it at unofficial points and even driving over the cones in a “threatening manner”.

Councillor Andrew Anderson, council chairman, said the decision was made to remove market staff because “enough was enough”.

He said: “The staff that were looking after allowing access were being verbally abused and close to actual violence, so a decision to stop any control was taken.”

He said the council is now in talks with Derbyshire Police and Derbyshire County Council to try to resolve the traffic issues.

Coun Anderson said: “The county council’s highways team have indicated a possible way forward, but it could take at least 18 months.

“The police have always been very supportive of all we have tried to do.”

A county council spokeswoman said: “We are aware of the issues with the pedestrian zone in Shirebrook and have had discussions with the town council.

“The town council approached us a while ago to ask for a smaller pedestrian zone and some associated works to improve the town centre.

“We’ve no problem with these works in principal, but have asked the town council to find out what the businesses around Market Place think of the proposals.

“We’ve also asked the town council to find the funding to complete these works, as this is something we would probably be unable to fund.”

A police spokesman said: “We are working with the town and county councils to help find a long-term solution to traffic concerns around Market Place.

“We urge all road users to drive and park responsibly and with courtesy to others.”