Pretty little UK city’s Christmas market in chaos after row over council cycle lane | UK | News

Pretty little UK city’s Christmas market in chaos after row over council cycle lane | UK | News

The Christmas market in a pretty little UK city was plunged into chaos due to a clash with the council over a controversial cycle lane. Festivities in Oxford look a bit different this year as the stalls are in gazebos – not huts – and some space is taken up with a cycle lane.

Oxford’s traditional Christmas market was almost cancelled after the organiser complained the council’s insistence on cycle lane access made it too complicated to hold. Organiser Nicole Rahimi previously ran the event for more than a decade but claimed the council’s stance made it “impossible” to continue due to the “high risk of accidents”.

However, the event was saved when new organisers were found, Oxford council confirmed. Andrew Gant, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highway management, said: “We have worked closely with all partners to deliver a market that works for all parties, including residents, traders, and the cyclists who use Broad Street as a vital route.”

The Council added that new organiser LSD Promotions will be taking care of the event this year.  The market kicked off on November 30 and will continue until Saturday, December 23.

Ms Rahimi pulled out of the event after running it for the past 14 years, reported Oxford Mail.  She feared a “high speed collision” could take place if the county council remained adamant about keeping the cycle lane open.

She said: « I’m devastated for all the traders, charities, and local businesses. This marks the end of my business, which existed to put on this festive market every year. However, in the end I had to put cyclists and pedestrians’ safety first.”

That’s not all. Several Christmas markets across England have faced the axe this year.

England’s oldest Christmas market in the city of Lincoln was called off this year over a « significant risk to public safety », as market organisers around the UK blame rising costs, falling footfall and crowd safety as key concerns.

Markets in Brighton and Felixstowe have also been called off, while in Durham the « Christmas » market became a « Winter » market this year in a bid to become more inclusive.

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