THE Winchester Street Market moved to The Broadway for the first time on Sunday in a trial move.

There was a mixed reaction from traders, many of whom have seen the affair staged in the Middle Brook Street area and on the open-air car park before it was moved to the High Street a couple of years ago.

Elaine Ehrenfried, of Forage and Find, said: "I think it is safer but I am in two minds as to how busy it will be. The vintage market has got quite a reputation for attracting people so I think if that continues there is no reason why we shouldn't pull people down here."

Sophie Clarke, whose family's business sells French antiques, says: "My parents have done the market for a long time, I think when it was originally in the car park that didn't work so well with signage and footfall.

"We've had a good number of people coming today, a little bit less than normal. I think being connected to the High Street is important for the market."

Sue Perry, of Perry's, said: "Having the road cut off to traffic is a good thing, it is a nice atmosphere because we spent at least two years in the car park and there was very little promotion and hardly any footfall."

Tim Floyd of Pecage Art said: "I think I would prefer to be in the main High Street, but I would prefer to be down here than in the car park."

"Last time in the car park I sold one pictures but I've sold eight times as much already than in the car park.

Peter Horne, Barrie Pictures said: “It is too early to say at the moment, but it looks already that people are coming down to support.”

Peter’s normal picture is towards the top of the High Street, he said: “It is unusual to be right down here rather than up in the High Street but you’ve got to make these sacrifices.

“I would like to go back up though.”

The Broadway was proposed as the permanent location for the street market once Silver Hill was developed.

The city council says the trial will test an element of the long-term aspirations around increasing the vibrancy of the Central Winchester Regeneration area. Organisers are also looking to assess the benefits around improved ease of social distancing in the more spacious area.

There will be a limited number of stalls positioned on the Lower High Street and Middle Brook Street.

The trial will assess the impact on the market and High Street footfall as well as the level of traffic generated in Colebrook Street.

City council cabinet member for housing and asset management, Cllr Kelsie Learney, said: “The need for social distancing has led us to rethink how we carry on many activities within Winchester. Moving the market to The Broadway was suggested in the Central Winchester Regeneration Area Supplementary Planning Document and it seems the ideal location for people to enjoy Winchester’s fantastic market offering in a spacious, central location.

"We’re looking forward to seeing how the experiment works in practice and taking it from there.”

To accommodate the stalls, The Broadway was closed from the bus station entrance to the junction of Market Street and Colebrook Street, with access to the Mercure Wessex Hotel and Market Street routed via Colebrook Street. Great Minster Street and the Square remained closed to through traffic.