9,000 sign petition to save city's burger vans

More than 9,000 people have signed a petition in a bid to save burger vans and hotdog sellers from being forced out of a city centre.

9,000 sign petition to save city's burger vans

More than 9,000 people have signed a petition in a bid to save burger vans and hotdog sellers from being forced out of a city centre.

Wolverhampton City Council wants to cut the number of pitches amid concerns they put off shoppers and are unpopular with shopkeepers.

Under the proposals, sellers who want to trade in Dudley Street face having to pay for smarter-looking trailers, while the cost of licences would soar by 160 per cent. The plans also include capping the number of vendors operating at any one time.

The proposals are part of a bid to improve the appearance of the city centre and create a European-style cafe culture.

But traders have carried out their own survey and found overwhelming support for the hot food vendors.

A petition can trigger a debate in the council chambers if more than 2,500 people sign.

Frank Smith, who owns the Mr Sizzle burger van that operates at night, is chairing a group of traders.

He has been working in the city centre since 1959 and said: "We have had a considerable response to the consultation, with more than 9,000 signatures.

"We also did a survey of shops because one of the reasons the council has for doing this was the suggestion that shopkeepers didn't want us there.

"We surveyed over 200 shops and all were supportive of us." He said the council's plans would force traders to re-apply for their pitches with a reduction of at least two places.

"That means people who have worked together and known each other for many years would be forced to compete against each other," Mr Smith said.

Wolverhampton City Council is working on the proposals with the city centre company WV One.

WV One operations director Kim Gilmour said: "We need to consider all the responses to the consultation."

The council has recently cut the price of an hour's parking at three car parks to 50p in a bid to attract more people to the city centre.

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