Bristol City Council has issued a trespass notice to travellers who have set up camp at Brislington Park and Ride - as the group refused an offer to move to a transit site in Avonmouth.
A member of the authority’s Gypsy Roma Traveller (GRT) team has also carried out a welfare assessment of the group of gypsy families, who have with them five caravans along with works vehicles and cars at the site.
As reported by BristolWorld, the group arrived at the site on Monday morning, and yesterday commuters continued to use the park and ride while parking away from the small encampment.
This evening (April 5), the city council issued an update on the situation. A spokesperson said a member of the GRT team visited the camp on Monday morning, and made the offer of pitches at a transit site in Avounmouth, which was declined.
An official trespass notice was served - the first step in a process which can lead to a possession order and a warrant for eviction frm the land.
The spokesperson said: “A member of our GRT Team visited on Monday morning to assess the size and nature of the encampment and offer them pitches at our transit site in Avonmouth which they declined.
“We also carried out a welfare assessment with the group as per our duty of care. As some Gypsy Traveller families move frequently, they are sometimes unable to access a number of services including; GPs, schools and child care services.
“Within the GRT Team, we commission a specialist Health Visitor and education specialists, and have access to a wide number of other support services where we can refer people for additional support, even if they are only in the city for a short while.”
They added: “At the same time we explained that the encampment is trespassing and all site residents were issued with an official trespass notice. We have begun the process of getting a possession order which leads to a warrant for eviction from the land.
“In our experience, it is very rare that we reach the stage of having to use an eviction warrant with Gypsy Traveller groups, and we hope that will prove to be the case here as well.
“We will keep in touch with the group, and monitor for any new arrivals, and continue to provide support while encouraging them to accept our offer of using the pitches at the transit site.”
Bristol has a permanent traveller site in Ashton Vale, with 12 pitches. There is also a transit teraveller site in Lawrence Weston with 20 pitches, and a site for ‘ethnic showpeople’ in Bedminsiter with 12 pitches.