Travellers camp at Park and Ride site
8:30am Thursday 31st January 2013 in By David Wiles
AUTHORITIES are working to move on a group of travellers who set up camp at the Wroughton Park and Ride site on Tuesday evening.
At least 14 vehicles entered the site in Pipers Way at about 7pm and parked on an area which is rented out to Nationwide Building Society as an overflow car park.
Eyewitnesses said it caused traffic chaos yesterday morning because staff were not able to park.
Wiltshire Police said the travellers planned to move on in a few days. The site is served by the number 11 bus but Thamesdown Transport said it was not affected.
A Croft Road resident, who did not want to be identified, said: “There’s got to be about 20 caravans and vans, if not more.
“Nationwide have been using that as a car park so people couldn’t even get in there this morning.
“People were trying to get into the main Nationwide car park instead of the overflow.”
A Nationwide spokesman said: “We are aware that a number of travellers have parked their vehicles in the Park and Ride on Pipers Ways in spaces that are reserved for our employees. “The situation is being dealt with by Swindon Borough Council and the relevant authorities.”
A Wiltshire Police spokesman said: “Wiltshire Police received a call from a member of the public on Tuesday evening who reported that several vehicles were entering the Wroughton Park and Ride, Pipers Way.
“Officers visited the site and liaised with the group who have stated they intend to move on in a few days. “The situation is being monitored by Wiltshire Police and Swindon Borough Council.”
A Swindon Council spokesman said: “A large group of travellers arrived on Tuesday night and drove on to the Wroughton Park and Ride site, which is owned by the council, before it was due to be locked for the night.
“It is still operational but there is a section of it which is now occupied by the travellers. “We are liaising with our partners, including the police, and council officers will be speaking to the travellers to find out what their intentions are. “Our course of action depends on the result of our inquiries. This is the first time the Park and Ride site has been used as a parking area by travellers.”
Coun Wayne Crabbe (Con, Wroughton and Wichelstowe) said: “I know there were a small number of travellers who moved on to a site within Wichelstowe about six months ago but there were only there for a matter of days and then moved on.
“I don’t know if it’s the same group of travellers but travellers by their very nature tend to come and go.”