Peddling is different to a street trading activity, which requires a street trading consent.
A pedlar is:
Section 3, of the Pedlar’s Act 1871 defines a pedlar as follows:
“Any hawker, pedlar, petty chapman, tinker, caster of metals, mender of chairs, or other person who, without any horse, or other beast of bearing or drawing burden, travels and trades on foot and goes from town to town or to other men’s house, carrying or selling or exposing for sale any goods, wares, merchandise immediately to be delivered, or selling or offering his skill in handicraft.”
Further clarity on this matter is described in 'The Law of Street Trading Including Markets and Fairs', which states:
The 1871 Act required the pedlar to “travel and trade on foot”. The effect of the conjunctive “and” was to make the legal definition of “pedlar” synonymous with the popular view which would regard a pedlar as an individual who sells whilst on the move.
“If the distinction is to be encapsulated in an aphorism, one might say that a pedlar is one who trades as he travels as distinct from one who merely travels to trade. I do not mean that he must not stop…the chair mender stops in order to mend chairs: but the feature which makes him a pedlar is that he goes from place to place, mending a chair here and a chair there: He comes to the owners of distressed chairs, rather than setting up his pitch and allowing them to come to him.”
This means that the trader who stands by a portable stall, that is, who trades on foot in that more limited sense, is not a pedlar. He must move on.
Essentially this requires a pedlar to go to his customers. He is permitted to stop and then to trade, but he is not permitted to set up a stall in a pre-selected location inviting customers to come to him.
In order to be classed as a pedlar you must:
Pedlar’s Certificates can be obtained from any police station. It is an offence to peddle without a certificate and an offence to lend a certificate or use someone else. Salford City Council in consultation with other Responsible Authorities and partners, will take appropriate enforcement action against illegal street trading activities.
The council’s town centres are monitored by CCTV (Closed Circuit Television).
Legal cases have been brought which give further advice on peddling and differentiating between street trading activities:
Stevenage Council vs Wright 1996
Wright had a valid pedlar’s certificate. Whilst acting as a true pedlar he would normally be exempt from the prohibition against street trading under Paragraph 10(1) of Schedule 4 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.
Wright stood in one place in a Stevenage street (where street trading was prohibited without a consent) and sold Christmas wrapping paper from a bag at his feet for over one hour before being approached by local authority officials. He claimed to be acting as a pedlar and the magistrate dismissed the case against him. The prosecution appealed and held, Wright was not a pedlar but was acting as a street trader.
A pedlar ‘travels or trades on foot and goes from town to town or to other men’s houses’, thus he cannot set up a ‘pitch’. Whether or not a pitch has been set up depends on the circumstances - an individual does not have to have a stall. A pedlar, by definition, is a person who sells to a customer and moves along to the next sale.
London Borough of Croydon vs William Burden 2002
Burden, a licensed pedlar, was selling in the street in Croydon, usually outside a shopping centre, and moving only a few yards during each visit. The judgement stated:
“It seems to me that the crucial point in this case is to look at the periods of time of which B was stationary, the distances that he moved and the nature of his conduct whilst he was stationary for the purposes of selling. Looking at the evidence, which was before the magistrates, it is my judgement that someone who is:
In other words, he is not someone:
It is an offence to street trade within the city boundary of Salford City Council without the required street trading consent. Get information on street trading and how to apply for a consent.
This page was last updated on 1 June 2018