Government announces reform of street trading laws

The government has announced reforms to street trading laws that ministers say will “remove unnecessary burdens.”

The changes, which will also bring the UK’s laws in line with Europe, will remove “undue restrictions” on licences for pedlars and street traders, including the requirement for a pedlar to have lived in the area in which he or she wishes to do business.

They will also introduce a new requirement for character checks to include a search of the national police databases.

Consumer affairs minister Jo Swinson said: “Street traders play a vital role in vibrant marketplaces right across the UK. These changes will ensure that shoppers can have confidence that street traders have undergone proper checks before trading, while making sure those checks are simple and straightforward.

“Street trading stalls are an important part of British culture and offer a great place to shop. We want a system that is fair for everyone who wants to buy and sell goods.”

There are around 4,000 pedlars in the UK, most of whom are sole traders. Pedlars are described in law as someone who travels or trades on foot and goes from town to town or door to door, carrying goods for sale.