REOPENING a town’s popular car boot sale has sparked concerns for some residents and businesses, but councillors have decided it will carry on.

Bedale town councillors were told initial sales had been “absolute chaos” and there were concerns about people coming from outside the area.

Councillor Christine Mollard said: “There have been quite a few comments from businesses in Bedale complaining about the car boots.

“They were complaining about people not adhering to wearing masks or restricting numbers in shops even where there were signs saying maximum of three, people were complaining when they were asked to leave.

“This week they were more prepared and have been telling people, so it has been better but there were quite a lot of unhappy people.”

Councillor Malcolm Young said some people had told him the car boot sales were “absolute chaos”.

He added: “There was no social distancing or masks and it was absolutely packed out, I don’t think it is going at all well.”

But Councillor John Noone said he had been told by businesses that the first week of the car boot sale had been their busiest.

“I don’t think we can go back on the principle of the car boot, we have opened the door now,” he said.

“I have to say you are not expecting to wear masks outdoors and let’s face it if you are worried, you put your mask on.

“Even people coming into shops not wearing them, it is either forgetting or making a statement, either way the businesses can put their foot down and I don’t blame them for that.”

Town Council Clerk Nick Reed said the organisers had been putting cars nose to tail rather than back to back to improve distancing, and there had been 135 vehicles at the first event in a space that would normally take 160.

Councillor Mike Barningham said he had been to Keswick last year where they had employed a one way system, but councillors said it was not feasible at Bedale because there are so many entrances.

Cllr Young said: “The government’s advice is if you can’t socially distance you should wear a mask.

“I won’t go up there because there are a good number of people of people coming from outside the area. I realise we have set a precedent by starting it off, I am not happy we have opened it up.”

Councillors agreed to continue the car boot sales and keep monitoring them.