A Battle shopworker has claimed a new barrier is damaging trade in Market Square.
Samantha Matthews, who works in Cafe 10, said the barrier was put up by Jempson’s store on Monday – without any of the traders being informed.
She said the barrier remained down and padlocked shut, meaning that suppliers could no longer access the shops in the square.
“None of our suppliers can come in to get deliveries to us,” she said. “It’s causing us problems.”
While there is a designated loading bay at the back of Jempson’s, Samantha said suppliers could not park there because the spaces were always taken up by Jempson’s staff.
Samantha, who has lived in Battle for 17 years, said all the shops had lost trade as a result of the barrier.
“We’ve lost so many customers over this,” she said, adding that the situation was ‘sad’ .
“We all have to help eachother out in Battle,” she said. “We are a community spirited place.
“The market used to be massive and now it is dwindling. What trade we’ve got we are grateful for – but this has killed our trade.”
While she acknowledges that some people would use the square for parking, which is not permitted, she said: “That’s nothing to do with us.”
She added: “We’ve had two ambulances have to come up here before – they won’t be able to get through.”
A spokesman for Jempson’s said an increasing amount of traffic in the square had led to concerns about health and safety.
The spokesman said: “Jempson’s having responsibility for the Market Square in Battle have worked with the landlord to address concerns raised by Rother District Council, members of the public, customers and the local Town Council.
“The safety of pedestrians, customers and members of the public to this area is of prime concern to us, and as such the increasing amount of vehicular traffic using the Square raised serious questions around Health and Safety.
“Access for all essential purposes will now be monitored and be provided where required.”
Rother District Council has been approached for a comment.