I finally found the copy of the EHDC order regarding the movement or not of traffic through Maidenhead Street. Basically vehicles can only drive through Maidenhead Street Sundays to Fridays from the Mill Bridge end and may not park unless a)delivering or b) displaying an orange badge. This is dated 1986 so I assume this may now be interpreted as a blue badge. This order is suspended from 6.00am Saturday until 6.00pm Saturday ie for the purposes of the market, unless otherwise directed by the police of fire service.
In effect this is a road closure order whereby because vehicular access is banned apart from the setting up of a market, pedestrians have the right of way; and all rights of movement.
There is nothing therefore to stop anyone setting up tables and chairs on Saturdays. You would presume however that this would be done in a way so as not to cause an obstruction alyhough pedestrians are able to walk along the highway. Costa Coffee already place tables and chairs outside and I wonder if they are presumed to be a market trader that day and charged the daily fee?
Many moons ago at a seminar in Ware myself and other Town Centre Managers and Councillors from all five towns were asked about the best and worst aspects of our town and other elements. During this meeting Cllr Wilson drew an artists impression of what Maidenhead Street would like if fully pedestrianised with coffee tables and a series of overhead canopies and hanging baskets to protect us all from the rain. It didn't happen of course and never will but I drew laughter when the Sainsburys application was 'called in' by suggesting that there was nothing wrong per se with a cafe culture in town for ladies who lunch, as long as there was a retail structure in support.
I also found a copy of a Highways report into Maidenhead Street from I think 2005. Maidenhead Street is actually a two way street but motorists are encouraged to enter one way. Residents of Adams Yard and Dolphin Yard could exit either way. Over the period that the research was done they noticed a few drivers taking the wrong way in and out, many cyclists doing the same but very few accidents, if any at all. As with so much that went on at the Hertford Transport Forum and with Highways I am not sure if any signage was actually changed.
With the market shrinking week by week I see no problem in allowing people to drink their coffee outside, or even during the week. There are now more coffee shops than ever in town and most of them have some form of outside area which if they do not abuse is fine. I could name one or two who do. As a piece of information when Cafe Nero applied to have an outside area Mon to Sun Planning department were unaware that there was a market in Salisbury Square until it was pointed out to them. Which is why coffee is only served outside Sundays to Fridays because there is no room if there was a full market. Ditto the White Hart. But there goes another problem.