SKIPTON Town Council has issued a reminder to motorists about parking restrictions on Skipton High Street on market days.

The council, which oversees the operation of Skipton Market every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, has issued the reminder following an increase in incidents where cars have been left parked overnight on the High Street immediately before a market day.

Market manager, Stefan Bodnarczuk, said: “Parking restrictions apply on the High Street every market day – with no parking allowed from 6am to 6.30pm. As well as keeping the market place clear during the day, the restrictions are also in place to allow traders to set up in the morning and dismantle in the late afternoon. The 6.30pm restriction is also in place to allow for any cleansing operations at the end of a market day.

“While illegal parking at the end of a market day regularly makes dismantling and cleansing very difficult, it is a serious problem if cars are parked on the market setts first thing in the morning. It can impact badly on the traders affected who either have to somehow work around parked vehicles or, more often than not, are unable to trade at all. The market is their livelihood and being unable to trade can have unpleasant consequences for their business and their families.”

A number of years ago, as part of an agreement with the Highways Authority, arrangements were put in place to open up the High Street for parking on days where there is no full market – or where weather conditions mean that traders are unable to set up.

Any areas opened up for parking are clearly set out – and the adjacent parking restriction signs are altered to reflect the situation.

On the run up to many market days, the council puts up large, bright yellow, additional signage to remind drivers not to leave their vehicles overnight.

Mr Bodnarczuk said: “Despite the large number of additional signs put up, it is amazing how many drivers protest that they haven’t seen them. The best advice we can give is to do what most drivers would do whenever they park up – look for and check the nearest sign and obey the restrictions. That way the driver doesn’t end up with a parking fine, and the market trader can get on with earning their living.”

Any vehicles contravening parking restrictions on the High Street are likely to receive a fixed penalty notice, with the associated fine. There is also the possibility that the vehicle will not be able to be retrieved until the end of market operations on that day.