Parking mayhem broke out on Skipton market again this week – and the victims this time were stallholders.

Traders arrived on two occasions to find vehicles had been parked overnight on their plots.

John Louch, who sells sweets, ice cream and biscuits, had to put up his stand on Friday morning, around a green Citroen van.

It had been parked near to Skipton Library in front of a sign warning that parking was forbidden between 6am and 6.45pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

A similar incident happened earlier in the week further up the High Street.

It follows controversy about “trigger happy” wardens who were accused of being over zealous in ticketing drivers using the setts on market days.

Officers at North Yorkshire County Council are at present drawing up a new traffic regulation order which will allow visitors to park on the setts on market days after 9.30am if a stallholder has failed to set up.

Mr Louch said “I arrived this morning and found this van on my pitch. I waited 45 minutes before I put the stall up.

“This shows how things are not working. I’m not against the new parking rules but until they happen we have this situation.

“We want sensible enforcement. This is a ludicrous situation.”

Meanwhile, Coun Robert Heseltine, who has been spearheading the call for changes, blames Harrogate Borough Council, which acts as the enforcement agent for North Yorkshire County Council.

“This demonstrates the stupidity of the enforcement situation at present. It’s got out of hand.

“Harrogate appears to have taken its bat home after the criticism. There needs to be a commonsense approach while the new regulations are being drawn up.”

Dave Parker, chief officer at Skipton Town Council, said: “This shows the other side of the parking argument and why regulations need to be in place to protect the market. The ability to actually set up a stall is critical to a trader’s business”.

The proposed new regulations would allow enforcement when needed – such as in the present cases – and to relax them at other times.

“It will take a while to get them through the various legal processes and, in the meantime, drivers need to make sure they read the current signs.” he added.

A Harrogate Borough Council spokesman said: “There is continued enforcement on the setts.

“Unfortunately, there was not a patrol in attendance when the instance of inconsiderate parking occurred.”

The public should contact Harrogate Borough Council parking services on (01423) 556693 to report inconsiderate parking.