STRUGGLING traders at Wickford market say they are in favour of moving their stalls to the town’s High Street, but fear the market is already on borrowed time.

Once a bustling shopping area, just four traders pitched up on a recent Friday, with several empty stalls scattered around the car park where the market is held in the town’s Market Street.

Basildon Council wants to give the market a renaissance by moving it into the High Street to take advantage of a busier environment.

Traders feelits present location out of the town’s main shopping strip means they lose out on customers who stick to the High Street and shopping centre.

Linda Davis has been trading on the market with her jewellery, bric-a-brac, and antiques stall for the past 30 years.

She said: “No one comes to the market, and because we don’t have the shoppers here, the traders don’t come – so it’s a vicious circle.

“We mainly rely on our local customers, so perhaps moving it into the High Street will attract more passing trade.

“This used to be the best market for miles, but all markets are going the same way.”

Basildon Council revealed in March it was committing an initial £500,000 towards revamping Wickford, and hopes to generate more cash towards that aim.

One of the key points for its Wickford blueprint was to revamp the market, and this could include moving it into the High Street – perhaps once every fortnight with traffic orders put in place to accommodate the stalls.

Richard Hill has been trading for the past four years, selling mobility scooters.

He said: “Some residents don’t even know that we’re here so I think it would probably do a bit better if it was moved into the High Street.

Rayleigh moved its market into the High Street, and from what I hear, I think it is doing quite well. When I started, there were loads of stalls, but now people just use it as a place to park their cars as its just gradually declined.”

The market runs on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays – with the weekend day generating the most custom.

No trader said they would leave th emarket, but all of them admitted that times are tough.

Ian Williamson, who runs a flower and plant stall, said: “We’re just plodding along at the moment.

“Rayleigh has shown that moving the market into a High Street works.”