Abingdon Market Place Act 1978

In 1970 all the efforts of the councils to stop cars parking on the refurbished Market Place were put in jeopardy. A hamburger vendor convinced local magistrates that the Market Place was partly a highway.
A few years later a private bill was given Royal assent in June 1978. Sponsored by the Vale of White Horse District Council, and Abingdon Town Council, it allowed the Town Council to lock the gate and legally control what vehicles are allowed on the Market Place.

9 thoughts on “Abingdon Market Place Act 1978

  1. SarahW

    I’ll be in Abingdon again this weekend. I’ll fish out a photo which shows Fritzi’s Hot Dogs van in the Market Place 🙂

  2. Neil Fawcett

    It doesn’t stop vehicles using the Market Place but it means they have to have permission to do so.

    Out of interest, where would you move Sammi’s to, Steve?

  3. ppjs

    Interesting to see that the Town and District Councils collaborated to sponsor a private bill to provide a control of how vehicles might use the Market Place. The civic authorities then seem to have been more proactive on the town’s behalf than the present incumbents.

    Traffic continues to be a major problem for many towns of Abingdon’s size with layouts originally set in the days of the pedestrian and the horse. We need a better solution than the present arrangements here in our town; the question is one of political will and determination. We will be told that there isn’t enough money, but Mr Osborne has suddenly discovered oodles of the stuff. So, where’s our MP?

  4. Roland

    Did this same act make it permissible to park on the yellow lines for bank and costa visits….?
    Reverse the convention of driving on the left ?
    Allow parking on the corner outside the bank ?

  5. Captainkaos2

    Ppjs Osborne may be flashing the cash at the
    Moment but wait till the size of the cuts in council funding is announced soon! I predict you ain’t seen nothin yet ! We’re in for massive cuts in public services,
    Neil, you asked Steve where Samis can should go? anywhere but where it is at present, a whopping great van the size of single decker bus can hardly compare with Frank Savaged Morris minor hot dog van, and to arrive on site at 4.30 in the afternoon is a blimin eyesore! Move it to the back of the precinct, Queen St or the end of Bath St.? Anywhere bar our lovely town centre, please

  6. davidofLuton

    Sammi’s kebab van is an ancient Abingdon institution. The royal charter of 1556 granted to one “Samuel of Oche Street” permission “gather for ye purpose of vending of meates of kebbabe” on and around the feast days of St Timothy* and St Polycarp**.

    Therefore Sammi’s cannot be moved, any more than the Ock Street fair can.

    You can view a transcript of the charter in the Abingdon Library, where you can check this out for yourself.

    * St Timothy is the patron saint of Stomach ache. This is true.
    ** St Polycarp is the patron saint of diarrhea. Also true.


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