MARKET STALLS are being removed after a young boy was injured in a city centre bus crash.

Winchester City Council is suspending part of its High Street market this week following last week's accident.

As previously reported, the 10-year-old boy was airlifted to hospital on Friday, after a collision in the High Street around 2pm.

It led to calls from councillors, Winchester's MP and bus company Stagecoach to move the market over safety concerns.

But a city council spokesman said today: “Winchester City Council was sorry to hear of the incident in the High Street last Friday and our thoughts remain with those involved.

“We are meeting the police on Thursday to hear their preliminary views on the circumstances surrounding the accident.

“In the mean time we have decided to suspend the market on Thursday and Friday in the lower part of the High Street until we are clear about the circumstances of the accident. This will affect about eight or ten stalls.”

The spokesman added: “After meeting the police we will decide on the best approach for the market on Saturday, February 2 and Sunday, February 3.

“We are taking this very seriously and looking again at all the safety aspects. If there are longer-term issues that fall within the work or responsibilities of the City Council we will look at them carefully and quickly and take any actions that may be necessary.”

The accident happened when the Stagecoach number 3 bus was moving at low speed along next to the market stalls.

The boy, from the Winchester area, was taken to the trauma unit at Southampton General Hospital.

Cllr Ian Tait, ward councillor, said buses should not drive down the High Street with or without the market.

He said: “Even when the market is not on and they drive at 10 or 15mph it is dangerous. Everything about it is ludicrous and we are not recognising the inherent dangers of mixing buses with pedestrians.”

MP Steve Brine, who passed the scene shortly after the crash, added: “I've been concerned for years about the safety of buses coming right into the pedestrian area and I think the introduction of the market on this particular stretch has made it more dangerous.”