Motorists refuse to pay parking fines as travellers take over Hull City Council car park
FURIOUS businesspeople forced out of a council car park by travellers are vowing to refuse to pay fines for parking illegally.
The travellers set up four months ago on a Hull City Council car park in Wiltshire Road, off Hessle Road.
Commuters who rely on the car park when at work said repeated calls to the council have gone ignored.
Now, they are refusing to pay fines if they have to park in the street.
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Andy Carter works at Atlas Caravans, next to the traveller site.
He said: "Travellers moved on well before Christmas.
"Cars have been tampered with and people have been bitten by dogs.
"They're intimidating people. The council is aware of this."
But despite his attempts to get something done, the travellers have still not been moved on.
Mr Carter, 43, said: "Every time you ring up, the council says they're looking into it.
"The state of the car park is terrible. There's food waste and they've even got chickens there."
To begin with, workers did their best to park and paid their fares.
But as more travellers have arrived, it has become increasingly difficult to find a safe spot.
Mr Carter said: "We're struggling to park on there now.
"We have to park on the highway and if we get a ticket, we're not paying it."
The travellers arrived in early November after moving from the nearby site of a former Birds Eye factory following a visit from bailiffs.
Soon after they moved, the council's area director for Wyke, West and Riverside Jane Price said "appropriate action" was being taken.
Councillor Nadine Fudge, who represents Hull West and Hessle ward, pledged to help tackle the problem.
She said: "I will be happy to work with residents and get the travellers moved on.
"It takes a while to move them – you have to go to court and that takes a week.
"Then they move off and, after a couple of weeks, they can move back on again."
The ease with which travellers can return after an eviction has caused widespread frustration across Hull.
In September, about 30 caravans took over land for a second time near Haltemprice Street, close to a housing regeneration scheme.
Hull City Council moved them out of the area but they immediately returned to west Hull.
At the time, Maggie Sewell, of Woburn Street, said the travellers were becoming a huge problem.
She said: "The problem just doesn't seem to be going away.
"They leave a lot of litter and are generally very untidy.
"The council really needs to sort this problem out otherwise they will continue to come back and cause problems for residents."
The council said an eviction notice was served on the travellers on Tuesday, giving them one week to comply. However, more have arrived since then.
Richard Townend, the council's network management manager, said: "The council has followed its policy on unauthorised encampments and yesterday an eviction notice was served to ensure the travellers move on.
"However, we were made aware a different group of travellers arrived on the site and we will be taking appropriate action to address this."
Anyone with concerns about travellers on land in their area should call Hull City Council on 01482 300300.
It is landowners' own responsibility for taking action against travellers parked up on private land.