Gainsborough: Travellers parked in town car park are in a ‘lose lose situation’ says charity

Caravans have parked up in the Bridge Street car park in Gainsborough
Caravans have parked up in the Bridge Street car park in Gainsborough

A charity which support travellers has said those living in a Gainsborough car park are in a ‘lose lose situation’.

A number of caravans have set up on the Bridge Street car park in Gainsborough.

A spokesman for the Traveller Movement said: “Travellers living in car parks or other inappropriate public places is a lose-lose situation.

“Local settled residents lose and the traveller families themselves lose. No one wants to live in a car park as a matter of choice, whether they are travelling through or are local travellers who need somewhere to legal to stop permanently.

“Gypsy and traveller families living on legal sites pay council taxes so a solution needs to be found that suits both settled and travelling communities.”

“Immediate eviction will just create another camp elsewhere and forward thinking councils are beginning to realise that zero tolerance approaches to unauthorised traveller camps, in the face of a serious shortage of legal private and public permanent and transit traveller sites, are costly, cause disruption and only move the problem down the road.”

“The no-brainer solution is negotiated stopping. It involves the council having ready some land or a selection of land that it can direct travellers to, a code of conduct agreed with the travellers, and basic waste and portaloo facilities.”

Chief operating officer for the council, Mark Sturgess said: “We are working closely with Lincs County Council’s liaison officer and the travellers to resolve the situation in an amicable manner.

“We are currently in talks with our enforcement provider and the police to make sure matters are dealt with appropriately.”

A business near to the site has said the travellers presence has already started to have an impact on their customers as they have no where to park.

They said some of their customers are elderly and struggle to walk far and the caravans have taken up the whole car park and people don’t feel comfortable walking through.