I have been a regular trader on Sheffield fleamarket for over 30 years and I have seen the changes during this period in its various aspects.
The bottom line is that the authorities are constructively causing the demise of a very fine tradition that has gone on for decades if not a good deal longer.
Sheffield is going to be the only city in the UK that will have no outdoor markets and probably one of the few cities in the whole of Europe.
If you visit most towns and cities in and around Sheffield they have all upheld and cherished this fine tradition - look at Rotherham for instance.
The reason that the outdoor markets look so rundown is the fault of the authorities. A lot of disadvantaged people who do not feel welcome in a posh market or posh department store need something like the outdoor markets.
It all points to an attitude by the authorities that is ignoring the wants and wishes of hundreds of Sheffield folk who have been regular visitors to these daily markets and indeed hundreds of others who trawl the fleamarket for that bargain or collectable that might cost twice as much or more in an antique shop.
The authorities say that the reason is planning conditions . . . . I call it no planning.
Outdoor traders in Castlegate say customer numbers have dropped since The Moor Market opened - page 10