Traders say east London market ‘gem’ is ‘losing its luster’ due to lack of toilets, crime and misdirections

A vibrant market once celebrated as the “jewel” of east London is losing its luster, with traders saying a lack of toilets, rising crime and inadequate signage are tarnishing the area and discouraging customers. Before moving to its current home, Queen’s Market in Newham began as a street market that stretched along Green Street.

Today the market exists next to Upton Park tube station and remains the busiest and most popular market in the district selling goods from around the world to which people from all over are willing to travel. It’s not just the exclusive range of African, Caribbean and South Asian products that have people patiently lining up at the market stalls, but also the fresh cuts of meat that sell out from 11am every day. .

Queen’s Market is not your ordinary London market, nor does it cater to one type of customer. East End locals and fashion students alike take over the market’s vibrant sea of ​​fabrics and glittering jewels. The market is a melting pot celebrating the best of London’s diverse communities and cultures, with one local telling the Local Democracy Reporting Service that it was used as an authentic backdrop for the recently released Netflix film, Luther.

READ MORE: London market traders criticize ‘broken’ and ‘dirty’ DLR station that is ‘preventing customers from visiting’

Saif Osmani helped establish the Friends of Queen’s Market community group 20 years ago(Image: Ruby Gregory)

Despite this, traders in the market have claimed that business could be better if the council improved its day-to-day operations. Javed Iqbal, who has worked in the market for 25 years selling handbags, said the LDRS business has changed dramatically for him in recent years and he says Covid hit him particularly hard.

He said: “This is a community, we are a community here. People used to come on buses, South Asians, different people, they came from as far away as Leicester. We were very busy at the time, but we don’t have toilets, no toilets, nothing. We need toilets, we need proper publicity, we need it to be nice like Covent Garden.

“A lot of customers tell me ‘our kids don’t want to go into the market because it’s so dirty and smelly’, but I say ‘no, we do our best, we try to keep it neat and nice and clean.’ Hopefully they help us out because that It is our future. The clients are the same, but if the rent (increases) it means that the market must be improved.”


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