The Totnes late night shopping which occurs on Tuesday Evenings in December cannot carry on at the same pace. The event has proven to be too popular for its own good with so many people attending that it's starting to cause issues with overcrowding and traffic congestion.
Last year saw traffic lining almost every street. The emergency services have said that "responding to an incident would be seriously impeded". While Bob the Bus who provides a park and ride for the event have said they were "overwhelmed with the number of people on the last late night shopping night in 2011".
Whilst working in the shop on the last late night shopping evening people were finding it difficult to actually shop and in some cases said they'd have to come back another day. There was a crush of people in the high street which I believe was mainly caused by popular bands playing in an area that is just not big enough to accommodate there audience as well as shoppers.
Several Businesses have stated that the late night shopping nights must continue in some form as they form a large part of their turnover. There is also the public expectations that something will be going on. It is suggested that there is still a market and that the shops open but without the road closure or the stalls and entertainment in the streets. I believe that the road should be closed as usual as this really does making shopping easier with such narrow pavements, which is a whole other issue I won't get into.
I do agree that the evening should be scaled down with less stalls and no big bands. It was always such a shame when a group of children playing instruments for passers by got completely drowned out by a loud band. The main high lights of the evening should remain which is enjoying a mince pie and a cup of mulled wine whilst browsing the unique shops and stalls that Totnes has to offer. Totnes late night shopping evenings always have a lovely atmosphere and I don't think that will change.
In addition to the late night Tuesdays a day time event will be held so that children can join in the festivities. This is an event we'd be happy to get involved in and would open the shop on the Sundays and have the bubble machine running. The late night shopping is a great time for parents to be able to get there Christmas shopping done in secret without there children and then these Sundays would allow them to enjoy Totnes with the whole family.
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