BEDALE may have to sacrifice one of it’s town centre car parks as part of the drive for the new £42.5m bypass.

Final tenders for the bypass are being considered in the next few weeks with work by North Yorkshire County Council expected to start in the autumn.

A gateway car park which would be built next to where the bypass junction comes out onto the A684 out of Bedale towards Leyburn has already been agreed in principle by Hambleton district council.

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This new car park is seen as essential to the whole development to ensure visitors and tourists stop and go into the town.

District councillor John Noone told members of the Town Council the new car park would have 200 spaces for cars and room for ten coaches.

Two existing car parks in Bridge Street and at the rear of the High Street currently have 140 spaces. But he warned: ”We may lose one of the other car parks or part of one, that would be redeveloped to pay towards the new gateway car park. They are going to spend a lot of money on this.

“I argued we should try and keep something for the people of Aiskew and Leeming Bar in the town for parking.”

He said the new car park would be as near to St Gregory’s church as it could be.

The three-mile long bypass will take the main A684 road into the Dales bypassing the communities of Leeming Bar, Aiskew and Bedale. Around 14,500 vehicles a day use the road through the area, around six per cent heavy goods vehicles.