Trader’s plea to scrap half-day closing

A market trader has launched a petition asking council bosses to scrap half-day closing.

Richard Marshall, who owns Gamer Nights in Castleford Market, fears the town centre will “die” if the market continues to close on Wednesday afternoons.

Mr Marshall, 36, has started a campaign asking Wakefield Council to abolish the long-standing tradition, claiming the closure affects not just market traders, but other town centre businesses.

He said: “This is a market town and we’ve not got anything without the market. The town centre will die without it.

“It needs to be open all the time. The whole town suffers on a Wednesday. When the market shuts, the town empties out.”

Mr Marshall, of Kershaw Avenue, Airedale, started the petition last week and has 92 signatures so far.

He hopes it will make the council realise there is a demand for full time hours at the Carleton Street site.

He said: “Castleford Market is one of the biggest in the district, yet we’re the only one that are still sticking with a half-day.

“ It’s not fair on traders. As businesses why shouldn’t we be able to open a full day?”

Wakefield Council said Castleford Market is the only site to operate a half-day closing system.

Lisa Dodd-Mayne, service director for culture and sport, said: “We are happy to consider full day trading at Castleford if that is what traders would like to do.

“However, we do understand that many of the traders also use the half-day as an opportunity to buy stock and we would need all of the traders to take part to make it possible.”