Lincoln Christmas Market will have one-way route, insist organisers
A controversial one-way pedestrian system will operate at this year's Lincoln Christmas Market, despite protests from some traders.
Following an in-depth and independent review by the Emergency Planning Unit, it has been agreed to make changes to the layout and crowd control measures following overcrowding concerns at the 2011 event.
Among the changes for this year's market, which runs from December 6 to 9, will be the introduction of a one-way pedestrian traffic system up Steep Hill and back downhill via Drury Lane and Michaelgate.
Shopkeepers in The Strait and Steep Hill say this will be bad for business.
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But organisers believe the new system and layout will make it easier for visitors to move around and enjoy the wide range of attractions - and that they will be better for traders.
Director of development and environmental services at the city council John Latham, said: "Public safety is paramount and in view of last year's unprecedented numbers of visitors to the market we have had to look at how we manage the crowds.
"Pro-active crowd management has avoided any serious incidents on Steep Hill in the past but we don't want to wait for something to go wrong, so we anticipate problems and put appropriate measures in place.
"We believe that by providing a more enjoyable experience people will be more likely to linger, not only at stalls but also in existing businesses throughout the city centre.
"The main aim behind the council organising the market is to provide an out of season boost for local businesses as well as representing a fantastic marketing opportunity for the city as a whole."
One factor taken into consideration was that the majority of visitors enter the market from the north of the city.
The annual market provides an estimated £10m boost to the local economy and the council believes it is vital that the way in which it is managed does not undermine that positive impact.
The council will continue to look at ways to support businesses in The Strait and Steep Hill areas throughout the duration of the market.