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Aberdeen food traders’ anger forces council to have potential plans to move vans at close of each day scrapped

Recent plans by Aberdeen City Council’s licensing department to make several unwelcome changes to street trading rules have been scrapped, much to the delight of the city’s traders. Had they been approved, the council’s plans would have seen street traders forced to move their food trucks from pitches at the end of every day’s trade.

A little collective action goes a long way

Several traders objected to the proposal and attended the council meeting on November 7th where councillors threw out the consultation within mere minutes. James McIntosh of Mac’s Munchies said, “I haven’t moved this van for eight years. It would be impossible for me to do so – it just wouldn’t work. If you have nowhere to park then that will be even more dangerous as vans could end up parked on residential streets.”

“Unreasonable and impractical”

Another trader, Zhuqin Chen of Wok on the Road, wrote to Aberdeen City Council to say, “It would take considerable time to move and set up at the start of the day and then disassemble at the end of the day. My pitch would unlikely be left available in the mornings due to parked cars and even if available, would require considerable length of clear kerb space to be able to tow the trailer into position.

“Furthermore, the congestion caused by all of Aberdeen’s street traders moving their vans or trailers each morning and evening, during rush hour, would severely affect the flow of traffic on Aberdeen’s roads.”

Chen’s latter point had the support of Aberdeen City Council’s roads team who said that it would be “unreasonable and impractical” for mobile traders to move their food trucks following close of play every day. Coordination team leader Kevin Abercrombie said, “There is the potential that if a trader is required to vacate their pitch, it may be unavailable subsequently if other vehicles park within the pre-approved footprint. This may lead to traders setting up as close to their pitch as possible, potentially in locations that are unsuitable or unsafe.”

More good news for Aberdeen’s mobile traders

And the good news didn’t stop there. Restrictions that had been in place since 2011, preventing traders from operating within a 400m radius of city schools, were also dropped at the same meeting. There had been several complaints over pupils leaving school premises to visit food trucks more than 400m away, which led to the eventual dropping of the rules.

What Alan Fox saysAlan Fox, NCASS MD

“This is great news for Aberdeen’s traders as the proposed plans would have put huge time and financial constraints on the many traders who already have so much on their plates. To see how far a little collective action among traders can go is really encouraging, and to know that they had the added support of Aberdeen Council’s roads team is even better. While restrictions like those that were proposed in Aberdeen do exist in other areas of the UK, it’s good to know that common sense sometimes does prevail.” 

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