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Travellers move in to Waterwells Park and Ride

By The Citizen  |  Posted: May 15, 2014

Comments (23)

Worried residents are demanding action is taken to move on more than 30 traveller caravans that have descended on Waterwells Park and Ride.

Users of the service alerted the county council and police to the arrival of the vehicles on Tuesday.

As many as 40 vehicles including 4x4s and trucks have been reported at the site this week.

Bus user Peter Hill said: “I used the Park and Ride service from Waterwells on Wednesday and was concerned to see travellers have taken over half of the parking site.

“I do not know how long they have been there but already there is rubbish dumped on the site. I would like to know how long they have been there, how did they get in and what, if anything, the authorities are doing to remove them.

“As a local rate payer, I will be sharing the cost of the clean up operations and their presence is hardly a good introduction to visitors to our city, many of whom use the Park and Ride service.”

Graham Smith, from Quedgeley Parish Council, said: “I was told the travellers had turned up on Tuesday and went down to see how many vehicles were there. There were at least 30 caravans, maybe 40, and it isn’t the first time they have been there either.

“The Park and Ride didn’t seem to be that disrupted by the amount of space that was being taken up, but there was a lot of rubbish being left behind. It is not right, and illegal. They shouldn’t be there. It is becoming a common stop off for them.”

Mr Smith said he was unaware of whose responsibility it was to move the vehicles on .

Quedgeley is becoming a regular stop off for travellers. In the past 18 months, they have set up temporary camps opposite the Gloucestershire police headquarters, off Davy Way and also at nearby Marconi Way, leaving behind litter and a large scorch mark on the ground from a fire.

Police said they were made aware of the arrival of the travellers on Wednesday and are monitoring the situation.

A spokesman for Gloucestershire Constabulary said “Our officers are aware that people have moved onto the site and we will be making further inquiries to find out what their plans are.

"In these situations those who have camped on the land are made aware of the standards that are expected of them while they are in situ and the landowners are consulted so that they can pursue an eviction notice if necessary."

Gloucestershire County Council said it was aware that a number of travellers have parked at the site and is working with police to find a solution as quickly as possible. The park and ride is operating as usual.

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  • RoadWombat  |  May 18 2014, 10:41PM

    It's an operational matter and therefore NOTHING to do with the PCC. Unfortunately, people seem to have run away with the idea that day-to-day operational matters are the PCC's responsibility, which they are not; they're a matter for the Chief Constable. The PCC doesn't "apply the law" to anyone (he merely devises overall strategic policy with the Chief Constable and deals with finance) and I don't think either of them be the least bit interested in chasing people for TV licences, which is the role of BBC licence enforcement teams!

  • P_I_Staker  |  May 18 2014, 8:33AM

    Dear Martin Surl, when will you do something about the "Travelers" that repeatedly illegally occupy sites throughout the county causing criminal damage, outraging public decency and causing disruption. Oh I forgot you are spineless like the rest of the political elite when it comes to dealing with "travelers". Maybe you won't get re-elected as someone will stand up and say they will take action and apply the law evenly, as you well know if Joe public were to do the same then the law would be down on them like a tonne of bricks! Maybe privet companies could set up places to pitch up, they would have to pay rent for the pitch including waste disposal I think it's called a campsite or something like that. Maybe someone aught to report them for not having TV licenses!

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  • RoadWombat  |  May 17 2014, 6:57PM

    Alethia - it's not (unfortunately) as simple as that. First, the landowner has to make a formal request to the police for the power to be used. Have they? Secondly, the landowner has to make a formal request to the travellers to move on. Thirdly, the police have to take into account "welfare issues" which involves the local authority, social services etc. (which will take a l-o-o-o-o-ng time, knowing the way that system works), Fourthly, the police have to provide the offenders with a copy of the legislation and give them a date by which to vacate. Fifthly, if they don't vacate, the police need to have sufficient resources in place before taking action and the guidance advises that there needs to be somewhere for them to go so that the problem isn't simply moved somewhere else. In short, the bulldozer option really would be far easier!

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  • Hadagmaja  |  May 17 2014, 12:22PM

    Not once have I encountered a traveller with any respect for people other than they're own. I've seen them walk out of restraints without paying, damage cars whilst illegally occupying car parks (and of course the police do F all), seen them ruin films for cinema go-ers by being unruly, seen them steel from shops, seen them leave public toilets in disgusting states. How exactly do they make their money? Income tax? Ha! Yeah right!

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  • hardwickegirl  |  May 17 2014, 10:54AM

    I wouldn't have a problem with them if they weren't so disrespectful to other people's property. They completely trashed my daughter's friend's car on Wednesday evening. The windows were smashed, doors dented and scratched, wing mirros smashed off, front grill removed and roof dented. This poor girl had to wait hours for the Police to arrive who said that they wouldn't be looking at the CCTV until next Tuesday, by which time the Travellers will probably have been moved on. She was absolutely distraught as the car was an 18th birthday present and her father was incensed by the Police's attitide. Not only that, the public toilets have had to be closed because they have smeared their own faeces over the floor and walls of the toilets; they have vandalised bicycles; defaecated in the middle of the car park; and lit a bonfire, melting the tarmac. The car park is a complete mess where rubbish bins have been overturned and there are children and dogs running wild. It is very intimidating for people who are using the Park and Ride service and it will be the council who suffer in the end, as people will stop using it. Why should customers have to park outside of the car park? This isn't fair and the police should grow a pair and get these people off council property, but not before holding them to account for their wanton vandalism. They whine about people's attitude to their way of life and behaviour but they need to show respect and consideration for the vast majority of the public who use that car park.

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  • citon  |  May 17 2014, 8:38AM

    Davies14 gave us his opinion: "maybe if the authorities were more engaged with Travellers the public perception wouldn't get so bad." - - Maybe our perception would improve if they were to leave the site that they invade in the same condition in which they found it. I would definitely be more tolerant of their anti-social behaviour if they would at least clean up after themselves.

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  • NIGHTRIDER69  |  May 17 2014, 5:22AM

    they have no right to be there!!! scum!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Aletheia  |  May 17 2014, 1:26AM

    The police have power under the Public Order Act to demand that anyone with six or more vehicles vacate the land. The question has to be why haven't they? They never do this. Is it because they are too lazy or too incompetent, which is it?

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  • SG1970  |  May 16 2014, 2:50PM

    @Lecorche & Wombat: Since the introduction of powers allowing the Police to seize vehicles without the correct documentation, it's pretty rare now to find travellers cars/vans not to have all the relevant docs. It's too easy for the various authorities to ping a traveller's vehicle with ANPR. So the old traveller trick of moving after they're caught doesn't work anymore. It doesn't though answer the question of where the money came from to purchase the vehicle in the first place.

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  • RoadWombat  |  May 16 2014, 1:50PM

    @ RoadWombat: Did they not use the road network to get there? Yes, of course they did (and, indeed, as you say, they are taking the hiss), but how are you going to prove who was driving at the time or that a particular vehicle wasn't transported there by trailer? Believe it or not, I'm with you all the way, but dealing with it ain't always as easy as it first appears - they have good money for lawyers and the 'ooman roits Act etc. is on their side. Personally, I'd go for the bulldozer option!

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