ACCRINGTON Market traders are being allowed to revert to the town’s tradition of closing Wednesday.

The ruling Labour group said it was what stallholders wanted, but Conservatives - who brought in six-day trading last year while in power - said it was the ‘kiss of death’ for the town’s trade.

Last year Hyndburn Council’s then Tory leaders made the decision saying it would help compete with other towns.

It followed the market hall’s £2.5million revamp, but the change was highly unpopular with traders as many said they used the day to re-stock.

Hyndburn’s new Labour administration has now announced that Wednesday opening will be optional for traders.

The move follows a vote amongst traders at the market hall with two thirds voting for optional closing.

Coun Clare Pritchard, the new cabinet member for markets said: "We always said we would ask traders which days they wanted to open and listen to what they said.

“The recent survey showed a clear majority of traders wanted to close on Wednesdays while a small minority wished to remain open. Therefore we will leave the market hall open on Wednesday mornings for those who still wish to trade.

“These are very difficult economic times and it is more important than ever that we move on now and work together to make the best indoor Market in Britain even better."

But former markets portfolio holder Marlene Howarth said she was ‘devastated’ at the news.

She said: “After all we invested, it has all now fallen down. It just sends the message that Accrington is closed for business on Wednesdays. How are we supposed to compete with other towns like this?

“There are traders in the market hall though who want to compete with the likes of Tesco and are being let down by the others. It will have a knock on effect on the whole town centre. i is the kiss of death.”

John Grimshaw from the Market Hall Tenants’ Association said the majority of the traders wanted the option to close on Wednesdays. He said: “There is something of a mixed view, but most people in the market see this as the right decision.”