Travellers spark call to enforce parking ban at beauty spot

travellers spark call to enforce parking ban at beauty spot - Travellers spark call to enforce parking ban at beauty spot

Portishead Lake Grounds is being advertised nationally online as a place for travellers to stop off for free.

The beauty spot, owned by North Somerset Council, is currently being advertised on the Search for Sites website.

The site gives details of the location, the fact there are public toilets costing 20 pence per visit, and highlights the walks nearby.

It also gives details of the nearby open air pool and the small sandy beach up by Battery Point. And it makes it clear there are no parking charges in force when people visit.

Local residents say people have been using the Lake Grounds – described as the jewel in North Somerset’s crown – as an informal place to park up their camper vans and caravans overnight for years.

travellers spark call to enforce parking ban at beauty spot 2 - Travellers spark call to enforce parking ban at beauty spot
The Lake Grounds in Portishead.

But they say in the past couple of years the problem has got worse.

One resident, who did not want to be named, said: “I don’t think people are supposed to overnight camp.

“There is, or was, signs up but they do it anyway and sometimes stay a couple of days.

“It gets more and more every year.”

Several signs warning people overnight parking is not allowed were installed in 2018.

The signs are dotted along The Esplanade – currently closed to traffic to help with social distancing – but there are none along Lake Road itself.

Despite the warning signs, people are continuing the flout the restrictions.

Another local resident said: “It’s all very well having the signs but if no one is enforcing them it makes no difference.”

The concerns about the inappropriate use of the Lake Grounds comes at the same time as a group of travellers are parked up on Lake Road.

The group of travellers – four caravans, two camper vans and associated vehicles – moved on to the beauty spot on Monday.

The group is parked up on Lake Road, close to the bowling green.

The council issued the group with a notice to leave by 9am on Wednesday but they remained on the site.

Authority chiefs have since applied to the court for a hearing to evict the group, with the hearing taking place on Friday, September 11.

Bristol Live has approached North Somerset Council for comment.

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