Frustrated market traders claim they have been “chucked out the back” as they turn down an offer of an alternative site when the Tour de France visits Epping.

Epping Town Council offered to hold the Monday market in Cottis Lane Car Park when High Street is used as the finishing line for a stage of the race on July 7.

But over 75% of traders have voted against the move.

Trader Adrian Harrison said: “We don’t really have a clue what’s going on.

“I don’t know if we are going to be charged for licences on the Cottis Lane site.

“Our trading vehicles will have to go somewhere and this will limit the space, so it’s likely I will only be able to use two stalls and I don’t see the point.

“I’ve been here for 38 years and I know that moves don’t work well. People are creatures of habit, they don’t do change. People just won’t come.

“These councillors are going to get paid either way, but this is my livelihood.

“I will lose money if there’s no market and I’ll lose money if we are moved, so it’s a no win situation."

Up to 6,000 spectators are expected to gather in Epping to watch the end of the rolling sprint section.

But Trader Christine Butler said she felt disappointed the market would not be part of the event.
She added: “Why should we be put up the back?

“Imagine trying to get all our vehicles in there, they won’t fit.

“We want to be a part of the day. We still had a market when the Olympic flag came through Epping.

“They have just chucked us out the back and expected us not to say anything.”

Epping Town Council Clerk, Alan Shaw, said: “The council has already looked at many other alternatives and Cottis Lane was the best option available.

“There are estimated to be 6,000 people in the market place on the day and the market would obstruct the view of spectators so it’s just not possible to hold it on the High Street for safety reasons.”