TRADING standards officers have issued a warning advising people to beware of rogue tarmac-laying gangs operating in the York area.

The warning follows a number of complaints about gangs targeting larger properties, mainly in Acomb and Bishopthorpe.

The gangs are offering tarmac at a discount price, usually about £3 per square metre, and start the work immediately.

But once the work is completed, unsuspecting householders are appalled to learn that the total price, for very poor quality work, can be anything between £3,000 and £11,000 - and any reluctance to pay is met with menaces.

Trading standards manager Elizabeth Levett said: "We would urge people not to have work done by uninvited callers.

"Although the law says that services must be carried out with reasonable skill and that uninvited traders must offer a cooling off period, these rights are very difficult to enforce against unscrupulous traders."