Market traders being forced from their stalls in the centre of town for a Christmas market fear they will not make enough money to get through the festive season.

The company that runs the annual Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park will hold a Christmas market in The Parade from November to January.

But regular stallholders are furious that they will be moved to the far side of the flyover, which they say will ruin their own trade.

Orbay Yenilmez owns a fashion stall in The Parade. He said: “It is a disgrace. It is so unfair. We work here all the time and build up a loyal customer base.

“Then these people come in once a year at the peak time."

“Basically, we are laying the foundations for them to come and steal our trade.”

Sam Seeiqi, who owns the Greek stall, said he had already bought his Christmas stock and now will not make the money back.

Watford Market Traders Association chairman Grant Adams is concerned at the lack of consultation.

The football stall owner said: “No one had time to object, because we were not told of the plans.

“Most of us are struggling in our new home so some of us have been forced to also trade on the High Street.

“Allocating the best pitches to ‘outside’ traders at the most profitable time of the year and forcing the regular traders to either give up or move to a less desirable place is unjust, unfair and counterproductive.

“We are not against a Christmas market but object when it affects the current trader’s livelihoods.”

More than 20 traders objected to the council, but they say the number would have been higher if more people had known about it.

Watford market was reopened on the corner of Beechen Grove and Exchange Road last October after a £2m revamp.

Some traders claim their “livelihoods have been ruined” since they moved into the new two-storey home, managed by Town & Country Markets, due to a lack of advertisement and wind protection.

Others have had to move to stalls in The Parade, which sees a bigger footfall.

Ray Marks from Ell’s Kitchen in the new market said: “I sit here all day twiddling my thumbs.

“This new Christmas market is an added insult as they seem to be getting better treatment than us who are here all year round.”

Not all traders are against the new market. Anita Curran recently opened Speakeasy Diner. She said: “We are in favour of a Christmas market, but do think the council need to pick their feet up and give us better advertising."

“There have been a lot of promises made, which are not being stuck to.”

Elected Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill said the market will bring more people to Watford. She said: “We heard from residents that they would like to see a German style Christmas market. And we want to create a really fun, festive atmosphere in the town.

“I would hope Town & Country will be able to sort out the space so everyone benefits."

The new Christmas market will be selling festive food and drink including gingerbread and mulled wine, Christmas gifts, toys and goods.