Calls for tougher safety regulations at Worksop market have been made after a stall blew over in strong winds and “wiped out” two elderly shoppers.
One of the pensioners was hospitalised as a result of the “horrible” incident, which happened on Bridge Street as the early stages of Storm Doris battered the town.
A trader, who looks after a stall selling vintage sweets, said: “It was pretty horrible. I didn’t see the couple get hit but I did see the stall blowing over and wondered what had gone on.”
Another stall holder, who did not wish to be named, said “it was an accident waiting to happen” as he does not feel the market is being monitored properly.
He also believes that traders do not adhere to guidelines set out by Bassetlaw District Council, such as taking off stall covers and removing tables when wind gusts are forecast above 35mph.
He said: “The market should not even have been open that day, the weather was so bad. There is nothing to stop someone else being wiped out if the market is not monitored during stormy weather.”
Trader John Holden sells fresh eggs at his stall, and said he was surprised he didn’t lose any of his stock when the stall came crashing towards him.
But he added: “This was a freak accident. Many of us have been trading on the market for years and know how to handle bad weather. My stall was securely fastened down that day.”
Beverley Alderton-Sambrook, head of regeneration at Bassetlaw District Council, said:“We can confirm that an incident occurred at around 12pm on Wednesday, February 22 when a sudden and strong gust of wind tipped over a market stall and subsequently collided with two members of the public. Firstly, we would like to apologise to the two members of the public who were involved in the incident and reassure visitors to the town centre that this was an abnormal and unexpected occurrence.
“The safety of the public, traders and staff is the council’s primary concern and we have a robust procedure to ensure that the highest level of safety is adhered to.
“On the day in question, market staff were aware of the most recent Met Office weather warnings, which did not include gusts of the severity that were experienced. However, regular wind readings were taken at different locations along Bridge Street and on each occasion, the wind was recorded at below 20mph.
“The incident has been reported to the council’s safety and resilience team, which has conducted a review of the market’s operating plan in times of potential high winds.”