Brixton Market Lock Down protest – ‘Don’t Ice Brixton’

I’ve just received this message on a Friends of Brixton Market mailing list about a protest they are planning today at 2pm against the planned temporary ice rink at the site of the Popes Rd car park:

Subject: Brixton Lock Down 28th September / Don’t Ice Brixton
Dear Friends,

Brixton Market Traders will be closing their stalls and shops today at 2pm for an hour to protest against a temporary ice rink being built on the site of the Pope’s Road multi storey car park.

Tesco PLC want to develop a superstore in Streatham, on a site that includes Streatham Ice Rink. As well as the store, the development will include housing and a new ice rink. But while they’re doing the work, the Council wants them to ensure that an ice rink is still available. Lambeth have said Tesco need to pay for a temporary ice rink on a different location in the borough. They first chose Streatham Common, but a successful campaign by locals stopped them putting it there. After that, the council’s eye fell on Brixton Market – or on its carpark to be precise.

Although we all agree that we should rely less on cars we also know that local town centre’s suffer greatly from the lack of parking and Brixton is no exception.

This car park has been closed since December and the lack of parking has seriously effected the businesses in the market some reporting a 50% loss in business. Market customers who buy big sacks of rice, cans of oil, boxes of fish for their families need to transport it by car. A market like Brixton cannot survive on footfall alone. Without car parking, shoppers largely from ethnic minorities, are being forced to take their custom elsewhere and Brixton Market as a whole suffers.

Brixton Market Traders Federation, the Assocation of Brixton Arcades and Shops, the Friends of Brixton Market, The Brixton Society, Transition Town Brixton, local businesses, local tenants associations, youth groups and other community groups are opposed to this proposal and the Brixton Lock Down is the first of many forms of protest and action that will be taken until an appropriate car parking solution is implemented.

As a supporter of Friends of Brixton Market please do let us know what you think and if you want to know more about this campaign and you want to know what you can do to support it go to;

Thanks in advance for your time.

Barby Asante

for the Friends of Brixton Market

See here for an interview with market trader Diana Godwin back in February 2010 about the challenges market traders were facing after the closure of the car park.

UPDATE [10.38 pm, 28.09.2010]: See here for photos from today’s lockdown