Kingston Market traders were given one week’s notice to move their stalls to make way for the Christmas Market and told they “could not come back in 2018”.

Some of the nine non-permanent pop-up traders have said they are “extremely” saddened about the news and are worried about the path ahead, while a controversial petition has been started, originally called ‘Save Kingston Food Market’.

Kingston First (KF), which is in charge of the market, insists the traders have not been kicked out, but that it “couldn’t guarantee” the space to the nine traders “in the same way”.

KF is planning to change the use of the area- but not the permanent stalls- though it has not confirmed for what and said it is consulting residents.

Legally, KF has no obligation to give the traders notice as they are not contracted like the permanent traders.

Mozta had to give up his Yummy Wrap stall. He said he orders his stock monthly and now owes money for produce he is unable to sell.

He said: “I have been running that stall for more than two and a half years.

“We live for this. I’m not here to take a lot of money- we are not a big business.

“I have a wife and two kids and I support them.”

Three of the pop-up traders have been given a Christmas stall, but not Mozta.

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After the temporary traders were informed, Joseph Shin, who runs the popular Kanji stall, launched a petition called ‘Save Kingston Food Market’, the wording of which has stirred up some ill feelings with the permanent traders.

Some felt the petition, which has since been changed to ‘Save Kingston Pop-up Food Markets’, was “very misleading” and implied the whole market was shutting down.

Some were angry. Permanent trader Tom said he “has five to ten customers a day” asking about the market closing and that his customer numbers have “definitely gone down”.

Valentinos and partner Sandy run The Souvlaki, which is a pop-up, and said they have been at Kingston Market for as long as a lot of the permanent traders.

Sandy said: “They are lucky to have been made permanent.

“They say that the petition is inaccurate. Even if it’s inaccurate, it’s a fact that people are losing their jobs.”

Mr Shin’s daughter Sanghee: “We have lots of loyal customers who will be upset.

“It’s very upsetting for us, not so much anger as it is sadness.”

The petition has reached more than 3,000 signatures.

A spokeswoman for KF said the “Kingston Food Market is very much here to stay” and “we’ve let all traders know that we’re considering all ideas for 2018 to scope out how we use the civic and community space in front of the Market House in a more varied way”.