'Workable solutions' being sought to seaside campervan parking row

Caravans and camper vans lined Undercliff Road East in Felixstowe over the Easter weekend 

Campervans and motorhomes causing parking problems in Undercliff Road East - several arrived yesterday for the jubilee bank holiday - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Highways experts have been asked to draw up a range of "workable options" to deal with the growing number of motorhomes and campervans clogging up a busy seafront road on sunny weekends.

They have also been asked to look at the costs of any solution, and in the meantime to promote the availability of overnight parking for campervans and motorhomes at alternative locations nearby.

Felixstowe town councillors say they are investigating all options - including not changing the current situation - before any decisions are made.

Currently, there are no restrictions on the resort's seafront - allowing people to park-up and sleep overnight, waking and then breakfasting on the prom and beach.

But not everyone is happy with the situation - and some residents say the proliferation of overnight campers does little to help the economy of the resort.

It was agreed to look into measures that could be introduced on Undercliff Road East, where frustrated residents have reported seeing up to 35 vehicles parked, some with two wheels on the promenade. 

Felixstowe Town Council's planning and environment committee met with officers from Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council to discuss the situation.

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The main issue is large vehicles being in place for multiple nights, over-occupying the limited parking in the area.

Councillors acknowledged that there may be a range of possible options - from yellow lines to one-hour restrictions, parking bays with limited waiting times, barriers preventing encroachment on the prom, additional dropped kerbs and the use of byelaws or a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).

Officers said current legislation does not distinguish between motorhomes/campervans and other vehicles and the issue of 'camping on the public highway' would need further investigation.

Bawdsey Quay was suffering similar problems and considering a four-hour waiting restriction to eliminate overnight parking via a Traffic Regulation Order.

Motorhomes and caravans parked in Undercliff Road East. 

Motorhomes and caravans parked in Undercliff Road East. - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FELIXSTOWE RESIDENT

As well as the potential damage to the paving, and in particular the blue clay kerbs, from heavy vehicles such as campervans, other concerns have included a lack of space between vehicles for pedestrians to get through and space taken up by people putting tables and chairs on the prom.