After weeks of argument, protests, complaints, changes of mind, disruption and general unrest, it seems that the new locations for Orihuela’s weekly street markets have finally been decided.
Manuel Gallud, the local councillor responsible for the municipality’s markets, has this week announced that the Tuesday market will be moved from Los Huertos to the area of Las Monserratinas as of 4th March, thus acceding to the wishes of those stallholders who believe that their sales will benefit from a more central location. While pleasing the market traders on the one hand, Sr Gallud also hopes that at the same time the move will help to regenerate activity in an area where shopping has declined since work on the AVE high-speed railway line in the city began.
Tuesday’s market stalls will be located in Avenida Duque de Tamames, Avenida de la Vega, Calle Luis Barcala and the side streets joining them, except for Calle Arzobispo and Calle Prendimiento which will be kept open in order to allow emergency vehicles to gain access if necessary. The food stalls will be located in the Avenida de la Vega, and Sr Gallud has guaranteed that the move will benefit all stalls, maintaining or even increasing their volume of trade.( Click for map, Avenida Duque de Tamames)
The Saturday market, on the other hand, is to be moved from Los Andenes to the old city centre, creating what Sr Gallud descibes as a top class facility right in the heart of Orihuela. The market will occupy the Puente Nuevo (from Calle Obispo Rocamora to Calle Alfonso XIII), and will include the area next to the Hotel Tudemir, Plaza Teniente Linares, Plaza de la Soledad and Calle Alfonso XIII.( Click for map, Calle Alfonso XIII)
It has been a long and drawn-out process to reach these decisions, during which the opinions of neighbours’ association, owners’ communities, traders’ groups, the Chamber of Commerce, and the commerce innovation agency Afic have all been taken into account. The advice of the Policía Local and Protección Civil has also been heeded.
Sr Gallud recognizes that the end result of this process will not please everyone, but is certain that within a few weeks all will be happy with the new arrangements. The Saturday stallholders have threatened to organize protests if they are moved from Los Andenes, but the councillor is adamant that this is his final decision, and work is already beginning to paint the street markings necessary for the first stalls to occupy the new locations. These locations will be allocated by a draw next week ready for the stalls to move to their new locations on Tuesday 4th March and Saturday 8th March.
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