A well-known Northampton ice cream seller claims it is a “red herring” to say he should be moved from outside Abington Park for safety reasons.
Northampton Borough Council is proposing to move the Gallone’s and Mario’s Ice Cream vans inside Abington Park from their current spots in Park Avenue South.
Guildhall officials said it was part of a move to make the park more attractive to visitors, make the gateway from Park Avenue South more attractive and to improve safety near a busy road.
The authority also believed the vans would benefit from a “prime location” inside the park.
But Aldo Gallone, of Gallone’s Ice Cream, said there had been no accidents in the two years he has parked his van there, and he would prefer to stay where he is.
He said: “We’ve done a Freedom of Information request and proved there has never been an accident there in the time we’ve been there. It is a red herring.”
Councillor Mike Hallam (Con, Parklands), the council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “Park Avenue South is a busy road and is getting even busier.
“The ice cream vans are both extremely busy throughout the year and we want to take steps to ensure the safety of the children and adults who are their customers.
“The on-street pitches are not marked and the ice-cream vans have to vie for spaces with visitors. We are proposing that the pitches are moved off the road and into the park where a proper trading area can be created so that customers can buy from them and enjoy their ice cream in safety.
The pitches would be in a high-profile, busy but safe position. And we will work to try to accommodate Mr Gallone’s trailer.
“Abington Park is one of the town’s major assets and we are working to enhance it in every way we can. Moving these pitches would be part of that, but safety is our first consideration.”
The council’s licensing committee will consider a report on the proposals on Tuesday. If the plans are approved, the changes would come into effect on April 1 next year.