HEIGHT barriers to stop travellers setting up camp on Bewdley car parks are being installed this week.

Wyre Forest District Council has introduced a height barrier at the entrance of the Gardners Meadow public car park, off Severnside South, after nine traveller vans pitched up at the car park in early April.

The travellers spent more than a week on the site - prompting the district council to start legal proceedings to remove them - before leaving around 10 days later.

Former Bewdley mayor, Councillor Derek Killingworth, called for more action to be taken to prevent the travellers from taking over the car parks and pushed for height barriers to be installed.

He told the Shuttle on April 20, that the latest incident had had a “devastating effect on tourism and visitors to the town centre”.

A spokesman for Wyre Forest District Council confirmed that swing arm height barriers had been installed at Gardners Meadow after the recent “illegal incursion”. Another barrier is expected to be installed at the Dog Lane car park shortly.

Councillor Killingworth, who is the chair of the planning committee on Bewdley Town Council, said: “We are fully in support of these barriers being put up in the Bewdley car parks. It needed to be done and it is important to the town.

“If you get travellers unlawfully pitching up on the car parks – it can take the police and the district council two to three weeks to get it sorted.

“We are not willing to put up with it – my job is to look after the people of Bewdley.

“I am sure that the traders will be pleased that the barriers are being installed on the Gardners Meadow and Dog Lane car parks.

“I do hope this will free up car parking spaces in Bewdley. We want as much parking in the town as we can get – it is such an important issue to the town.”

He added: “People do not realise, particularly during holiday times and bank holidays, how things like the lack of car parking can be catastrophic for traders in Bewdley.

“We have suffered now for years with the work going on in the town and the delay in demolishing the old medical centre and library off Load Street for extra parking. We must have lost 50 per cent of our parking over the years.”

Linda Draycott, the district council’s director of community, wellbeing and environment, said that new swing arm height barriers have been installed at Gardners Meadow and will be installed at Dog Lane car park. She also said that the security measure was in direct response to the recent illegal incursion at Gardners Meadow.