COUNCIL bosses have pledged that the removal of well-used benches at Bury Market - because of social distancing - is only a temporary measure.

Shoppers were concerned after witnessing the seats, on the outdoor market, being removed by workmen.

But town hall officials have confirmed the benches have only been temporarily removed, as a result of the current lockdown.

One Bury Times reader said: "I was taken aback when visiting Bury Market recently after a long period of closure and lockdown, to find that all the metal permanent seating between outdoor blocks and structures in the Flea market area had been completely removed.

"A friend saw workmen previously angle grinding the structures and ripping them up."

He feared if the seats were not replaced then older shoppers in particular would be driven away from the market.

But at Bury Council spokesman said barrier tape was initially placed on the seats, to prevent people from congregating there.

"Unfortunately people just kept ripping off the tape and carrying on regardless," he added.

"So we have temporarily removed them while social distancing rules are in place. They will be coming back at a later date."