FOODIES will be able to buy their favourite fish at a new £1m market in Oxford without getting caught in city traffic.

Haymans Fisheries is opening a 13,000 sq ft store in the Osney Mead industrial estate, West Oxford, and will sell 1,000 different items, from fresh carp to tinned mackerel.

For decades, Haymans has run an award-winning shop at the Covered Market.

But Ray Lindsey, the general manager of the new store, said the new facility will allow the business to expand in a way that is not possible in the city centre.

He said: “The constrictions in the city centre were one of the considerations when we decided to set up the new store.

“The traffic situation in Oxford means it is becoming harder every year for food traders in the market. Since the introduction of the Oxford Transport Strategy in 1999, the footfall in the Covered Market has reduced and it has cost the whole market a lot of trade, but our shop is still thriving because we have very loyal customers.

“At the new store there will be free parking and that is a big attraction. If you try to carry home a lot of fish on the bus you will end up having the top floor to yourself.

“This facility will give us the opportunity to target a clientele base where customers like colleges, hotels, caterers and restaurants want to buy in bulk.”

Mr Lindsey, 40, said the new two-storey store would partly target a growing Asian market and cash-and-carry customers.

He added: “We will be able to trade seven days a week here so it’s possible we could lose a proportion of our weekend trade at the Covered Market.”

Haymans Fish Market in Osney Mead opens for business on Tuesday.

Oxford United manager Chris Wilder has been invited to the official opening, on Thursday, with Gary Hooper, President of the National Federation of Fishmongers.

Shellfish come from Scotland and freshwater fish, including trout and carp, come from Bibury in Gloucestershire.

Mr Lindsey said: “I have been at Haymans for 15 years and we have been waiting for the right premises to come along – it’s very exciting.

“We are also planning to build a smokery so if a customer wants whisky-flavoured smoked salmon, or rosewood-flavoured duck breast, we can do it.”

The manager said 11 full-time and four part-time staff would be employed, but that could increase to 40.

Geraint Jones, manager of Haymans in the Covered Market, added: “Parking has always been a problem but our customers are resilient and will find a way to get here.”