POLICE are asking waterways chiefs to restrict access to part of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Burnley after a number of vandal attacks.

Stone-throwing youths have targeted a number of vehicles by standing on top of the viaduct, over Yorkshire Street and aiming missiles at passing traffic.

In two recent incidents on the street a First Group bus, travelling into Burnley from Rochdale, had its front window smashed, causing damage totalling £1,000.

And around 40 minutes later the driver of a black BMW reported having his windscreen smashed by another missile, thought to have been thrown from the viaduct.

Young vandals have also targeted traffic again at Gannow roundabout, over the M65, near the former Derby Hotel, in recent days.

Back in February 30-strong gangs were reported to be pelting taxis passing through the roundabout and four arrests were made.

The stone-throwing youths were also condemned by Burnley Private Hire Association, which said its members' lives were being put at risk.

Sgt Phill Hutchinson, of Burnley Police, said: "We have got a meeting with British Waterways in the next week to try to get them to gate off the section of the canal where the viaduct goes over Yorkshire Street."

Police say when vandals strike they have an easy escape route along the canal banks and onto neighbouring estates.

Before officers can reach the top of the viaduct they have usually long since disappeared, making arrests over the criminal damage problematic.

Police have warned vandals that they could face serious charges if their antics resulted in a serious road crash.

People who witness such attacks - or may have any information about either the Yorkshire Street or Gannow incidents can contact Burnley police on 01282 425001.