Parking will no longer be allowed on Wellingborough market when new rules come into force next week.
The ban has been put in place to make the area safer and more appealing to shoppers.
Wellingborough’s market place is not a car park, but increasingly it is being used as oneCllr Martin Griffiths
Under the new parking order, which starts from Monday, September 28, vehicles will be unable to park on the market between 8am and 6pm Monday to Saturday.
The only exceptions will be vehicles with a valid blue badge, which must be parked in the designated disabled bays at the top of the square for a maximum of four hours at a time; and vehicles with permits and marked spaces such as those used by All Hallows Church and market contactors Wellingborough Norse.
Stallholders will be able to drive on to the market to load and unload goods, but must make sure their vehicles are removed during trading hours.
Cllr Martin Griffiths, chairman of Wellingborough Council’s market working group, said: “Wellingborough’s market place is not a car park, but increasingly it is being used as one.
“People have been driving through the stalls and parking wherever they want, even when there’s a market on.
“I’ve seen so many near misses, with shoppers having to jump out of the way.
“We’ve also had an issue with non-blue badge holders parking in the disabled bays, meaning those that genuinely need them struggle to find an accessible space.
“Enforcing these new rules should help with that too.
“No one wants to shop in a car park.
“We’re hoping that prohibiting vehicles from driving around and parking up will help the market itself, by providing a much more appealing and much safer environment to browse the stalls.
“We’re lucky to have a lot of free parking in our town centre, all within very close range of the shops and the market, and stallholders and shoppers should be using those instead of the market place.”
The county council’s parking enforcement team will patrol the market place and issue penalty charge notices to anyone in breach of the parking order.
The same procedure and rights of appeal will apply as if the penalty charge notices were issued on the public highway.