PROTESTS by residents forced council officials yesterday to ban drivers of foot-and-mouth lorries from stopping in their communities.

Livestock carcasses from the Settle area and elsewhere are being taken to an incinerator set up on Hipswell Moor, near Catterick Garrison.

Some of the drivers have later been taking their tractor units into Richmond and parking them in Yorke Square, close to a field of sheep - to the anger of local people.

They feared that the vehicles, although disinfected, could bring the disease to the uninfected area of Swaledale.

District councillor Alison Appleton said: "This has been going on at least since the beginning of the week. On one night there were five of these vehicles parked on Yorke Square.

"We are told they have been disinfected, but we don't really know how the disease can move. The tyres may be cleaned on disinfectant mats, but what about the engine systems?"

The head of Richmondshire's environment unit, Martin Garside, said that after complaints from local people the drivers were being told not to use car parks in Richmond.

However, he said the lorries were disinfected on both entering and leaving farms, and again on entering and leaving the incinerator site at Hipswell.

l Spending by overseas visitors dipped sharply in April as the foot-and-mouth crisis hit tourism, figures showed.

Foreign tourists spent £885m in the UK in April, far less than the £1.06bn in April last year