Burger van ban to clean up Wolverhampton

Burger vans are facing the axe in Wolverhampton under radical new plans unveiled today to improve the image of street traders in the city centre.

Burger 1 PM 05
Trevor Payne is pictured by his burger van in Dudley St, Wolverhampton.

Bosses want to introduce brand-based stalls of better quality and spread them around the city after the current ones were labelled as ‘tatty’.

Foods on the new street menu could include vegetarian and Caribbean, with a smoothie stall also in the pipeline, while stalls will be spread out as Dudley Street is thought to be too congested.

The council said that having four stalls selling burgers and hot dogs was too many and in a council-led survey only five per cent of respondents believed the current balance of street stalls in the city was right.

They will cut the number down to just one or two, with traders told to sell one of the new lines of food or face being moved out.

Steven Franklin has run Hot Dogs and Burgers outside Marks & Spencer for the past 15 years, with the business in his family’s name since the 1960s.

“We don’t force anyone to buy burgers or hot dogs,” said the 51-year-old Sedgley resident. “If there wasn’t enough work for us then we wouldn’t be here."

One burger van trader, who did not wish to be named, said: “I’m gutted about it. This is my livelihood at the end of the day.”

Fellow trader Trevor Payne, a father of three, said he has been running a van in the city centre for almost two years.

“I am a family man with a daughter who started at university this week to pay for,” he said.

“I am just trying to make a a go of my business so that I can pay my taxes to the council and the government.”

The 43-year-old from Wood Cross added: “My vehicle is immaculate inside and out. The food is good and fairly priced. I and people like me are an asset to Wolverhampton. We bring in customers into the city centre so the council should be encouraging us, not trying to get rid of us. That would not be fair for me or anybody else who runs the vans.”

However traders did welcome the prospect of being given three-year licences, instead of the one-year rolling ‘consent’ basis they currently work on. A six-week public consultation begins today

There are currently nine street stall holders in Wolverhampton city centre, which could increase to 12 under the proposals.

If those selling burgers or hot dogs don’t agree to sell different foods then their licences will not be renewed.

Licensing manager Colin Parr said of the burger vans: “We’ve got four units that offer very similar trade lines in close proximity of each other – it needs to be more diverse. This is about the image of the city.

“They’re visible to people and if you’ve got units that the public believe look tatty – which is what they’ve told us – it doesn’t present a great image of the city.”

Comments for: "Burger van ban to clean up Wolverhampton"

Burger Wolf

Holy crepe, this situation is a hot potato and I think the council have got themselves in a pickle, which fruitcake thought this up? If the sellers vans don’t cut the mustard that’s fare enough but to take-away their bread & butter leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Something to stew over I guess.

the voice

i think they are an eye sore and rarely see anyone using them. The fact there is one right outside of mc donalds is a joke.

bobwolf101

Leave the doughnut one alone!!!!! Smells good!!!

If you want to get people shopping in this town - knock down the Mander Centre and rebuild it and the area around it.

jason s

Typical wolverhampton council,getting its prioties complete wrong by pick on the small guy!

DudleyStreetPreachers

So one or two burger vans dotted around are an 'eyesore', but a bunch of them side by side is a 'street market'. Just push them together a bit, call it a street food festival and market it as an attraction. People charge money for advice like this you know...

lanemeyer

I laughed.

The Fuhrer

You will do and sell as we say.

Ronnie Allen

Replace them all with pie stalls and watch the difference.

Neil

Agree with DudSt.Preachers.

It's character, not an eyesore. No one is being forced to buy the food. I bet McDonald's and Greggs produce tonnes of litter in comparison to these tiny little vendors but they're better than independant outlets???

It's the cost of rent.

Lower your costs you blind fools. Get businesses back in the city. And why is Chapel Ash on hold seemingly? It's a tip! Lay off the harmless and deal with REAL issues.

Amen.

sisterdora

the smell from four burger vans shoved together would be enough to put anybody off walking down Dudley Street.

Burgers, fish n chips, Italian, Caribbean, Indian, Greek - now you ARE talking about a street food market

raj mal

never heard so much rubbish from these council 'bosses'.

leave the burger vans where they are and lower shop rates

so we have no boarded up shops and we can have a decent

town again.

instead of driving trade away think about bringing it in for a change.

Wulfrunian

Why do we need a burger van outside Macdonalds ???

McBurger

To eat a decent burger?

Bill

Smoothies and Carribean food are not THAT healthy.Leave the burger guys alone,nobody is putting a gun to people`s heads forcing them to buy! Plus,these are people earning a living in hard times.If the council want to make the town more attractive,how about encouraging car drivers into town instead of charging the earth to park.

sm

We want traditional things on our streets like it has been for years, Why do we have to have vegetarian and Caribbean foods, Why moan about tatty burger vans that do not really look that bad when many parts of wolverhampton is a complete dump!

steve cooper-perry

Why can't they leave them alone not everyone can afford expensive meals in the eateries,they are ideal with good food on the go.I have always found them friendly and its better than paying a fortune for dried up cold meals you find in the eateries and served by folk that serve you with attitude and no interest for the job !!! However a more diversity of foods would nice but no doubt dearer.

John Eltonbuger

I love burgers,me.

Ronnie Allen

John!! Strewth how are you chief? It's me Ronnie the pie.

rich5wolves

Sounds like these bosses need to be part of those that are losing their jobs. Im sure this decision took weeks of discussions to come to........

RichardW

Great! Put people out of business - brand stalls and double the prices. Great idea...

compton wolf

So van traders are tatty, but the charity muggers are ok? And the awful buskers? And the drug addled beggers and street drinkers? Good to see the priorities are being handled great again by the council. I dispair at this "city"

David Hopkins

Burger vans doing no harm. Bookies springing up everywhere and far too many. Why dont the council do something to restrict their numbers. Unfair on the small business whereas the fat cat bookies rule the roost.

Treacle

I'd rather have a Hot Dog from a local business than line the pockets of the chain like Mcdonalds, burgerking or KFC. How about filling the empty shops with some quality goods to smarten up the area, they're the eyesore.

The Liquid8tor

So a Burger Van is an eyesore but not boarded up shops, eh? Come on Wolverhampton Council wake up and smell the coffee. You are trying to take away the livelihood of a few individuals who are trying to make an honest living and not sponging off the state. You could try and eradicate the "Chuggers" from the streets who, in my eyes, are like vermin and make walking down Dudley Street a chore, trying to avoid them pouncing at you like Street Muggers. They should be banned for good!!

Warren

It seems a little bit harsh, not sure it makes a measurable difference whether there are burger vans or not and there are peoples livelihoods at stake. That said, the bloke in question on this picture can obviously afford to buy an authentic Burberry shirt as work wear so he can't be doing that badly.........

mr refuse collector

BROAD STREET is the eye sore in Wolverhampton. If the the council are so worried about the image of the city then why don't they deal with this instead of making token gestures while at the same time ruining people's livelihoods.

Scott Cheg

Bring back wimpey.

JS

Oh the irony. Too many burger vans does a disservice to the image of Wolverhampton but it seems it's impossible to have too many bookie in the town centre!

dave

forget the empty shops, the eyesores, the crime. lets ban some burger vans! that will fix everything!

Phil H

It's the only thing worth buying though lol.

Big Whopper

Burger vans are one thing, but how about limiting the number of pound shops and pawn shops in the city centre ? The real issue is that Wolverhampton needs some quality shops which can attract a more upmarket audience, thus making the area more attractive to the kind of food outlets they're looking to attract in the first place !

Stuart Favill

Crazy stuff in a one horse town where 25% of the shops are shut and half of the place looks like a bomb site from WW2 - and they want to regulate a burger van? Stop the world i want to get off!

Keith Shelley

The market will decide if there are too many burger stalls.Politicians rarely get these things right.

Jane burger

How about making Wolverhampton presentable. Litter everywhere, houses left to rot and you moan about a burger van. Can't go anywhere without seeing rats everywhere. Just been to Liverpool and it's immaculate. Take note councillors. You've created a dump .

matt.

stick the burger bars in front of the empty shops and it will look so much busier.

The Voice of Reason

Why not improve the image of the city centre by attracting businesses to the countless empty units and getting rid of the nuisance beggars, charity muggers, preachers and drunks who accost shoppers.

Albert Smith

Sounds like the council want to get their troughs filled by the international burger and coffee chains rather than support local businesses.

Mrs Ivy Trellis

Spot On Albert! Many large retail chains bully local authorities and shopping malls in this way, under veiled threats of moving out of town. Rather than 'Rolling Over' Wolverhampton Council should adopt the attitude of 'Go on then, leave!'

Chriss Rafferty

why get rid of burger vans around Wolverhampton when there is more important things what need doing. When I go to Wolverhampton I always go to a burger van then kfc or mcdonalds for one its cheaper and they are just so friendly

Eat crow

There is already Caribbean food on the street - Whitmore Reans on Saturdays.

Oh, how I will miss the burger van smells...........Nah, Tatty or not.

English exile

To the Burger van people I would say " take no notice".

All WCC do is talk, no action, just talk.

paul

i love the smell of the burgers hot dogs and doughnuts its a part of the town center why dont the council just leave alone.

Lewis Taylor (Kings House Business Centre)

I cannot understand this at all, why not leave this to the people who buy their burgers decide? Surely the fact that these guys are there after so many years means that people WANT their services. If the demand changed then these businesses would not last and that's what should decide whether services last. Having the authorities dictate who does and doesn't trade on the high street is just snobbery and does not benefit the City.

These are hard working people with some of the friendliest customer service in the City and they are being treated as if their businesses are a disposable item. It's shocking.

Geeza

More food vendors like Sachins would be a massive bonus. His food is superb.

Saying that, if people buy form the burger vans then they have as much right as anyone to sell there.

Steve Thomas

So the council have been doing surveys about burger vans have they? Wow ... they really do need to look at their priorities dont they. I thought the council was supposed to be short of money, but evidently not if there's money to do that with.

PJW Holland

In my youth I worked for the American Hot Dog Company which had its regional base in Wolverhampton and we put trolleys out at numerous locations: Victoria Square, The Savoy, Queen Square, Monmore Green, Dudley Street etc. The Company also provided trolleys to a wide area across the region.

Despite all the salesmen being required to hold an "out of markets" licence and the Company having to be registered and regularly inspected by the local Health Inspectors our salesmen were hounded by the local Police and Health Inspectors despite the fact that those trolleys were cleaner, by far, than the average café or even restaurant. Each trolley carried hot and cold running water and every salesman had to carry spare clean white coats, spare tea towels etc.

Ed Banger

So trying to get rid of burger vans is going to clean up Wolverhampton? GET REAL!!! Empty shops in the "city" centre and in the Mander Centre are more of a eyesore. Nice to see the council are still sitting on the one brain cell they seem to forget they've got!!

Neswulf

The council needs to run a proper consultation with van / stallholders. They have to earn their money somehow, though I do feel there are too many generic burger and hot dog vans. Having recently visited a German city, their vans & stalls are well branded with good logos, sell varied food and look attractive and modern. There's no reason Wolverhampton's fast food vans and stalls can't do something similar with encouragement.

Also, how about a van selling some reasonably healthy fast food? When I want a quick bite on the move, all I can find is junk food.

John

Ironic the council is having a go at burger stalls.. I bet the council wouldn't dare touch the large fast food outlets (you know who I mean). Banning burger vans and replacing them with expensive 'branding' won't improve the image of the city.. now, getting rid of the council that runs it.. hmm, now there's something we should take public consultation on.

chris

And the derelict row of shops near the markets is not an eyesore.......

JBird

What a load of burgers!

Never mind hot dog vans being 'tatty', how about all the shops standing empty?

'It doesn't present a great image of the city'. Classic that. Neither does all the puke in doorways, fast food packaging, bottles, cans etc left in the mornings following the night life.

Get your priorities right Wolvo and leave these people be to carry on making their living!

Random

As long as Mr Tikka doesn't go! Best street food in Wolverhampton!

The Fuhrer

It appears by reading the comments, the council haven't got a clue they should resign and leave the burger vans alone.

sisterdora

I think that the Express and Star should collate all of these comments, together with all other comments over the last 2 years arising from headlines such as £15million refurbs, demolishing heritage buildings (which they don't seem to realise ARE heritage buildings), moving/not moving/increasing/ the market provision/parking charges,one way and pedestrianised systems and present it all in a neat file to every single member of Wolverhampton Council and the "decision makers" in Regeneration in the Civic Centre.

Perhaps when they see en masse what people think and want they might, just might, start to take a bit of notice.

I still think a line of burger vans in a row would not smell too good - but I agree that lined up against a row of empty shops they wopuld improve the image. And no - I'm not against burgers it's the over powering smell that's the problem and I would like my Caribbean food in the "city" centre, thanks, not have to trek to Whitmore Reans.

And the persons who refer to dirty streets - you have more of a point than perhaps you realise - the vans should ensure that they fulfil health and safety criteria, but what happens as soon as you move away from the van to eat? filthy seats, smelly litterbins and all the detritus at your feet. Why not create a proper outdoor "Food Court" which is kept scrupulously clean and for eating street food only ?

fletch

It seems the Council not only want to ruin Wolverhampton, but make it a Ghost town trying to reach big City status, that NOBODY who works or lives in the area really wants!!!!!! especially as most of the pretentious stuffed shirts are not from our area anyway !!!!! ask the 1000 people who are going to loose their jobs, to make more funds available for agency people who cost more in a day than a burger vans rent for 12 months

M.S

My understanding is that the Licensing department are just taking an active interest in looking for ways of improving the image and variety of street traders within the City Centre; they are not trying to reduce but actually increasing the number of Street Traders and to persuade some of the existing traders to alter and offer more to their menu than just Hot dogs and Burgers.

There is nothing wrong with what the authority are trying to accomplish. But you can understand the concerns of the existing street traders feeling that their livelihood may be at risk.

Interesting to see that the Express and Star have held an on- line public voting poll and it is pleasing that there is a very high percentage that want the traditional street traders selling their traditional foods to continue trading on the High Street that have been plying their trade since the mid 1950s

What would New York be like if all street traders were banned?

The licensing department and the street traders are reassuringly working together to discuss these matters. So I see a positive move to improve.

The Council needs to look at ways of making this City more attractive for people to want to visit and stay, with improved quality shops (Selfridges) and late night entertainment (live bands in pubs); encouraging by making it easier for businesses to invest by removing some of the red tape within. Just take a look at Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester.

Darren

Typical wcc half of the shops in the city center lie empty the place is like a bloody ghost town and this council are worrying about a few small business people.this sounds like council employees trying to justify their positions and saving their own skins at other peoples expense a bloody disgrace.they were happy to take revenue from the burger vans in fees and licences.this is why wolverhampton is in the state it's in IDIOTS GET GET A LIFE.leave em alone to earn their living.what about the amount of bookies in the town and bloody charity shops how many do we need?????????

susieD

Wolverhampton Council need to get their priorities right just look at the roads coming into Wolverhampton. SHAMEFULL. Where is the pride in this city.. Leave the vans alone HOW much is the rent......

Ivor

No Burgers + no pasties + no parking + pedestrianisation = empty shops. go to any German or French city and see a range of food and coffee sellers on the pavements, and cars in the city centres, have any of these fools run a business?

HOT DOG MAN

I really wonder who is pulling the strings in this matter , now from a first hand experince of being a street trader and having the rug pulled from underneath my feet by local council authority i ask this question , Do you thoink there is a private market company involved in all of this ????? i rekon there is and its all about economics . "get rid of the traders there bring in all the finery charge the new traders the earth and the council make more money vis the private market company ..... wait and see , this is happening all over the Uk

dave

council-led survey? who was asked? how many? according to the comments on this page it was very wrong.......

sam shuttleworth

leave the burger vans where they am most of them am much cheaper than mcdonalds or most take aways in the town i have found the best one to be is the one at the top of queen street by the wolverhampton homes one stop shop