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Row continues over motorhomes and camper vans parking at Felixstowe beachfront

PUBLISHED: 15:09 05 September 2019 | UPDATED: 15:30 05 September 2019

Motorhomes and campervans have been seen parking overnight in Felixstowe. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FELIXSTOWE RESIDENT

Motorhomes and campervans have been seen parking overnight in Felixstowe. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FELIXSTOWE RESIDENT

SUPPLIED BY FELIXSTOWE RESIDENT Patsy Sambrook (who wants to remain unnamed)

Frustrated motorhome and camper van owners are fighting back after some residents in Felixstowe called for a bylaw to prevent them from parking their vehicles along the seafront overnight.

SUPPLIED BY FELIXSTOWE RESIDENTSUPPLIED BY FELIXSTOWE RESIDENT

The issue has sparked fierce debate among residents angry over the influx of the vehicles at Undercliff Road East with some claiming they "add nothing but a nuisance".

Responding to claims the owners of the vehicles added 'nothing to the Felixstowe economy', Katrina Alcock argued: "I, as a camper van owner, will often go to Felixstowe and park on the sea front at the spaces assigned. To say we don't contribute to Felixstowe or pay rates is not accurate.

"We pay for parking if required, we go to restaurants, bars etc. So we do contribute to the economy and businesses. People should be looking to see how they can bring people together, not make them feel unwelcome."

Agreeing with Katrina, Mrs AMG said: "Many campers and caravaners bring revenue to towns. It's only in the summer months the residents moan, in the winter campers are welcomed with open arms."

Motorhomes and caravans parked in Undercliff Road East this weekend. Picture:  SUPPLIED BY FELIXSTOWE RESIDENTMotorhomes and caravans parked in Undercliff Road East this weekend. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FELIXSTOWE RESIDENT

What does the law say?

Some concerned residents are calling for a bylaw to prevent overnight parking at the beachfront, after explaining that up to 17 camper vans have been seen parking along the promenade at times.

Doreen Savage, a Felixstowe town councillor and former mayor of the town, says there is unfortunately nothing that the council can do as it is not against the law.

She said: "If these vehicles are taxed and licensed, which they are, then they have every right to park there as does anyone else."

'They are a complete hazard and are ruining the atmosphere'

Other residents have since come forward sharing their views on the parking issues at the seafront.

Mary Falconer said: "They are a complete hazard and are ruining the atmosphere and tranquility of the surroundings.

"The suggestion of no parking between 11pm to 7am is ridiculous, it has got to be completely no parking for camper vans for the sake of the beach hut owners and residents. Besides that, who is going to monitor them between 11pm and 7am? Something has got to be done now."

Another concerned Felixstowe resident, who wished to remain anonymous, added: "These vehicle owners have no regard for residents of Felixstowe, or passers by, often blocking the road to vehicles. It's only a matter of time before someone is injured and dies because an ambulance can't get through on the road."

Is there a wider issue?

Other residents, who also asked to remain anonymous, said: "We live 400 yards off Undercliff Road and see daily the number of motor homes and camper vans taking up prime parking spaces along this piece of our seafront.

"We accept that parking a legal vehicle at the roadside in itself is not an offence, but last weekend there was a trailer tent and a towed caravan also set up.

"When these large vehicles are parked partially on the promenade (to level them up) and then awnings are extended and the picnic tables come out, plus bikes and everything for a holiday are spread about - that's taking things too far. It is now not uncommon for these "holiday homes" to be in place for a week or so without moving completely free of charge."

"There is a wider issue here, simply that whilst these large vehicles are taking up prime parking spaces, then cars are being forced to park (often illegally) in nearby streets causing local congestion."

"We believe that parking along the seafront of the Suffolk coastline should be chargeable (as at most other resorts in the country), and there is not enough off road parking in the Undercliff Road area and in and around Old Felixstowe generally."

Resident Wayne Titzell suggested that a compromise could be made.

He said: "Maybe X amount of bays should be available for motorhomes and the rest for cars with a 48 maximum stay notice. A charge could be made for motorhomes/campers only £5 per 24hrs?"

What do you think of the issue? Share your views in the comments and vote in our poll.

Read more on the story here.

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