A FARMER has blamed litter-bugs and vandals for his decision to charge for parking at his famous car boot sale.

John Pierce, of Ley Farm, Chirk, has hosted a weekly car boot sale on his land for decades and massive crowds flock from all over the region in a bid to pick up a bargain.

But after years of the event being free to visitors Mr Pierce began charging for parking on Sunday, August 7, and has blamed some car-booters for the move.

He said: “For a very long time now we have had vandalism in the toilet block, such as toilets being smashed with bricks and pipes ripped out.

“Secondly, there are a number of stall holders who think they can just dump rubbish, boxes, damaged and unsold goods on the field, including TVs and fridges, despite the fact that notices are situated all over the field, and staff are being employed with tannoys to tell them to remove all their unsold goods.

“Some still do not listen and it is costing a significant amount of money to remove it.”

Mr Pierce also criticised people, he described as having “no care or consideration”, who simply use the land to park up, eat their lunch, and then leave rubbish behind without visiting the car boot sale at all.

As a result, anyone visiting the car boot sale will now have to pay £1 if they arrive between 8am and 11.30am – before and after these times there will be no fee.

Cllr Terry Evans, of Chirk South, is worried the move will cause traffic chaos in an area where the authorities have worked tirelessly to alleviate congestion.

He said: “Each car is going to have to be stopped on the way into the site and that’s going to cause a tailback up onto the bypass.

“The council and the police have worked hard to reduce congestion created by the car boot and I’m really worried this will undo all that.

“It could cause traffic chaos.”

But Mr Pierce claimed the new parking charges will actually alleviate the problem.
He added: “By taking this action it will reduce traffic problems as less people will probably come as some won't want to pay.

“It will also spread out the time the market is open as people will get to know that after 11.30am they can park for free making it far easier for road users and general public.

“There were no traffic issues on Sunday as a result of the collection.”