A FORMER Bewdley Mayor has called for more urgent action to be taken to stop travellers from taking over town car parks.
Derek Killingworth said he was investigating the possibility of installing height barriers to prevent vans from getting on to sites. He also called for the authorities to take more speedy action to deal with illegal incursions.
Nine vans pitched up at Gardener’s Meadow public car park off Severnside South on April 2 and spent more than a week on site, prompting Wyre Forest District Council to start legal proceedings to remove them, before leaving around 10 days later.
A spokesman for the council said they are already looking into the possibility of installing barriers and added the authority followed legal protocols to deal with incursions as soon as possible.
Councillor Killingworth, who is the chair of planning on Bewdley Town Council, said: “This latest incursion had an extremely negative impact on the town.
“A lot of revenue was lost while they occupied the car park for more than a week. We have been hit badly by the loss of parking in Bewdley in recent times, such as with the development of the huge new medical centre at Dog Lane.
“This incident had a devastating effect on tourism and visitors to the town centre looking for somewhere to park.
“Bewdley Town Council has worked tirelessly on issues such as this and will do so again and, as the chair of planning, I will be pushing for height barriers to be installed to stop them getting on car parks.
“The authorities such as the council land the police must do more and act faster.”
Linda Draycott, Director of Community Well-being and Environment at Wyre Forest District Council, said: “We appreciate people’s frustration and know incursions such as this can cause inconvenience and disruption for local residents and visitors.
“We always act as quickly as possible to follow the statutory legal process and get things back to normal as soon as possible, as part of the Joint County protocol.
“In this case we immediately applied for eviction notices from the County Court when the travellers arrived in order to remove them from the car park as soon as possible.
“We are looking at the possibility of installing height barriers and expect to make a decision in the next few weeks.”