Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

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Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by Quilter on Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:16 pm

This is not a Grumpy Old Man but an Angry Elderly Woman writing.

About 2 weeks ago the Redbridge Park and Ride site (Abingdon road, Oxford, opposite the C&CC site) was occupied by many traveller vans. Recently they spilled out from the coach and motorhome parking area into the general car park. Apart from overflowing bags of broken-open rubbish ( there are rats on site from the river near by ), there are stray dogs, straying children and their bikes and scooters, tall unsecured gas bottles beside each van, several generators (at least 2 today parked in car spaces and running noisily ) and lines of washing. There is no evidence of how cassette toilets or waste water is emptied or where fresh water is obtained from.  What a fine sight to greet both local shoppers and the large number of foreign visitors arriving on coaches and having to park in among the caravans and avoid accidents. There is a fully fledged council run traveller site about 200m from the park and ride, over the railway bridge though I am not sure if that would be available to them.

I have many acquaintances who would like to park overnight and spend 2 days sightseeing in Oxford. They cannot however as the relevant section of the parking regulations says that " Under the terms of the traffic order it is not permitted to eat, drink or sleep in any motorhome parked on the site."  Being law-abiding citizens they take note of this and, no doubt, if they did not, they would be asked to move on anyway.  All too often, without a booking in season, the Camping and Caravanning Club site opposite is full so they must go elsewhere and miss more of Oxford.

Can anyone explain why those people currently parked at Redbridge are allowed to remain, at cost to the local rate payer for removal of rubbish and making good damage,  while others, much more careful about health, hygiene, noise and safety concerns, are moved on before they have even spent one night ?  I doubt the travellers are paying parking fees ( £2 per day) either !

I am told that the police want to avoid a confrontation, so that's all right then.  

Grrr.....can I self-declare as a Traveller and so park my van there for weeks ?
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Re: Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by MIKE L on Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:26 pm

One rule for them, one rule for the tax and ratepayers!

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Re: Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by Quilter on Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:30 pm

MIKE L wrote:One rule for them, one rule for the tax and ratepayers!

Sure enough but WHY ? It's a very public demonstration that we either have not enough law-enforcers or they are not up to the job. It makes me feel ashamed to see this.
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Re: Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by MIKE L on Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:13 pm

They are a law unto themselves, they have no values of right or wrong, they don't care about anyone else.
I did meet some very nice travellers in the shop I worked in, and some very nasty horrible ones too. I had one bloke praying at the door, I asked him what he was doing, said he was praying I would f ing die! Another said I deserved to have a stroke.
We had one family in who weren't pleased we hadn't got what they wanted. When they left the man appeared to be messing about with his vany tyre.
When they had left he had left a deposit on the yard, no paper though! How can people do these things?.

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Re: Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by Quilter on Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:53 pm

I've taught many traveller children and been inside many - always immaculate- caravans belonging to their parents. I don't want to start a discussion of travellers as such.  What is making me angry- upset- ? -is that here they are clearly breaking so many laws and bylaws as well as putting their lives and those of their children in danger from heavy vehicles manoeuvering around them and absolutely no-one is doing anything about it.  WHY ? Are we so poor / have such inefficient public services and law enforcers that we can't do anything to move them on ? Even enforcing part of the council laws and making sure there is nothing outside the van when it is parked would be a small step.

It's not just locals who see this but it is clear to all those visitors from abroad who see it too. At the moment there are vast numbers of school parties visiting. Having staggered their way up from Portsmouth through road works on the motorway and A34 and then onto local roads which are more pothole than road to be confronted with a slum in a public car park what sort of country will they go away thinking we are ?  WHY are we so poor ?
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Re: Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by daisy mae on Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:05 pm

I wouldn`t say we are poor Quilter, standards have dropped so far and it is all me me, and blow anyone else, that it is becoming the norm, the situation above makes my blood boil, I don`t know what the answer, well I do, but will refrain on this forum, until someone in authority gets a backbone nothing will be done. so_sad

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Re: Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by Quilter on Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:16 pm

daisy mae wrote:I wouldn`t say we are poor Quilter, 

But where is the money going though Margaret ? When did you last even see a policeman? Our libraries are being closed and are largely manned by volunteers. Our roads are dreadful. Our health service has to close down at times and not treat emergencies because they are understaffed and underfunded. Our childrens’ services are closing as are those for the elderly, disabled and mentally ill. Our public transport is so expensive that it cannot be counted as a “ service” any more. I could go on. Icing on the cake last week when a friend, discovered her house is being eaten through by rats. She phoned the council and “ they don’t do rats” so she is paying a fortune for private pest control.

What is happening at Redbridge is, for me, the last straw.
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Re: Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by daisy mae on Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:50 pm

In our area, it is those at the top of councils, management  etc. with their big pay rises, perks etc. management looks after their own, blow the public who have to go without, they blame the government,  if funds are tight, the last thing you would do is to have a rise at the determent of the vulnerable, ,morals doesn`t come in to it seems. why do these called pillars of society  give themselves a big pay rise, but think it is justified. ?

The money that is squandered in Leicester is a travesty, I don`t live there, thank goodness, I am 15 miles away,  but have to pay council tax precept to borough council, all new houses in this village are charged a parish precept, but the village doesn`t get a penny of it, the borough council does, now we have a rise in the village precept which we do have to pay to the village, to cover all the new houses, equal we are not.

My Husband is a Parish Councillor, unpaid I may add,and he pays all his expenses,  he does it to make the village better for the residents, but what he has found out about corruption in councils is unbelievable, possibly not  thinking about it, not just one council, it is rife  in the country. in some form or another, 

Quilter, sounds as though those "travellers" that you taught and their immaculate caravans, were not those travellers but real Gypsies, a different breed altogether. It is a pity that they all get tagged together.

Be interesting to hear if anyone has a solution to the traveller problems, police daren`t go into their camps , myself would do what the French do, water canons.
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Re: Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by Quilter on Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:12 pm

daisy mae wrote:

Quilter, sounds as though those "travellers" that you taught and their immaculate caravans, were not those travellers but real Gypsies, a different breed altogether. It is a pity that they all get tagged together.

They were travellers Margaret. I nosed round the caravans of a group of Irish travellers in the campsite in Milan once (by invitation..) and they were spotless and very highly decorated too. ( Must have done wonders for the payload...) 

Oxfordshire is being built over at the moment and we are all worried as to where the extra money for new roads, health centres, schools, sewage, rubbish disposal etc will come from. The money that the estate builders have to pay to deal with some of this does not seem to be even beginning to make a difference.  I can understand your husbands anger. 

I used to be really proud to be British but recently I am beginning to change. I look at some of the other countries we visit in the van and wonder why we have such a shoddy infrastructure. We used to have a political system we could hold in some regard too; no longer.

Anyway; thanks all. I feel a bit better for getting it off my chest !
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Re: Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by mam0809 on Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:50 pm

Quilter you previously wrote on the tourist tax post "Oxford does not need tourists in the numbers it gets and the huge numbers, usually in organised, pavement blocking parties, spoil the place for everyone. Even in winter the streets are packed and, in summer, when you add in the language school groups and school parties coming up to see the colleges, it can be unbearable" 

now you say " What a fine sight to greet both local shoppers and the large number of foreign visitors arriving on coaches" and  "it's not just locals who see this but it is clear to all those visitors from abroad who see it too. At the moment there are vast numbers of school parties visiting. Having staggered their way up from Portsmouth through road works on the motorway and A34 and then onto local roads which are more pothole than road to be confronted with a slum in a public car park"  
Maybe you should consider the 'positive' side of all this is that this current situation may actually reduce the number of tourists to Oxford and hence there would be no need fo the tourist tax  Whistle1  


Last edited by mam0809 on Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:52 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : emoticoms not showing so lost intended lightheartedness of post)
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Re: Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by Quilter on Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:09 pm

mam0809 wrote:
Maybe you should consider the 'positive' side of all this is that this current situation may actually reduce the number of tourists to Oxford and hence there would be no need fo the tourist tax  Whistle1  
I did try to see the positive side but when the bill for clearing up and taking legal action comes through no doubt it will make me cross again. Money that could have been better spent in a hundred other more positive ways.

Today (30 th March), twenty days after the travellers moved into Redbridge P&R, they have moved out and into the car park of the Cowley Road Tesco. I wonder if it will take Tesco twenty days to get a court order to move them on? I wonder if Tesco’s private parking enforcement firm will charge them for their stay ?  Don’t hold your breath.  censored!
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Re: Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by Gromit on Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:36 pm

The Welsh police seem to have the answer - at least according to one sergeant I spoke to in Kidwelly when the car park was full of travellers.

He had just told them the Revenue people were coming the next day with their red diesel testing kit. They have the authority to seize and scrap vehicle using red diesel illegally, and apparently their equipment can detect the minute quantities remaining if it was last used months ago.

Sure enough, there was a mass exodus the next day!!

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Re: Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by Quilter on Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:46 pm

Love it !  hugegrins
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Re: Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by Gromit on Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:55 pm

True story.

I don't know if the Revenue men were actually coming that time, but they must have taken action at some time in the not-too-distant past or the Dids would not have scarpered!  rolleyes


I was tempted to tell them to park on the Mother-in-Law's drive . . . . but the police sergeant said that would be too cruel. They were a bloody nuisance but they didn't deserve that!!  broomstick lol4

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Re: Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by rose49f on Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:59 pm

Those travellers in Oxford with the filth around them will have spotless caravans. They just chuck the rubbish out.
I took my husband to hospital yesterday and saw one of their lorries blocking three disabled parks with cars in them. I wish one of the spaces were empty as I would have been determined to go into that space. Everyone else has to keep driving around to find a space but they just stop where they like.  so angry
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Re: Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by Quilter on Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:08 pm

I'll defend to the death anyone's right to roam freely in their van- as many motorhomers have chosen to do -BUT cannot understand why irresponsible travellers are such a special case in this country. Why can they get way with extended stays in places where most of us would be moved on immediately ? Why can they leave mountains of rubbish in overflowing sacks when any one else would be prosecuted for fly tipping ?   Why can they keep their children out of school without having to prove some evidence of home-schooling ? Why can they not be brought to book to pay for the clearing up of the mess they have left ? Why do they even leave a mess; there is a council tip not 5 minutes walk up the road from the Redbridge P&R as well as plenty of bins around the place.

They are not the old-fashioned gypsies, less seen these days but, 10 years ago, when there were many in Oxfordshire, you would never have known they had been in a place after they left. They were true travellers, staying only a few days at the very most, each time and leaving no mess at all.
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Re: Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by modelman on Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:24 pm

Here's a good-un, a while back I spotted them lift a cast iron lid in the road, screw in THEIR OWN stand-pipe & proceed to steal OUR water, in broad bloody daylight if you please. sensored1

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Re: Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by bikeralw on Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:05 pm

Not only here I'm afraid. We stopped at a nice aire in France last year. Within a few hours several big caravans appeared and the youngest occupants proceeded to reel out a massive cable, shin up a pole, rip open the electricity box and connect crocodile clips to the mains! 
Just before dark a police car cruised by, my wife went out and stopped it, pointing out the highly dangerous cable hanging from the pole ten feet from our van. The police just shrugged and drove off.. No doubt the aire will be closed this year like so many others have done in France.
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Re: Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by Quilter on Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:18 pm

bikeralw wrote:Not only here I'm afraid. We stopped at a nice aire in France last year. Within a few hours several big caravans appeared and the youngest occupants proceeded to reel out a massive cable, shin up a pole, rip open the electricity box and connect crocodile clips to the mains! 

I wonder if the law-abiding travellers in France ( and Italy, Germany, Spain etc) ) are ashamed of the behaviour of people like this ?  Municipal campsites in France were originally set up so that itinerant workers could camp there over a season while they worked on a free-lance basis for the local commune.  Each year, about now, those few municipals still functioning, see many such vans arrive, set up home and stay for the summer while the men work locally. We have seen many such communities over the years in Europe and they always conform to the rules of the site, as the rest of us are expected to do. In places where municipal sites are closing there are usually sites set aside for gens du voyage so there is no excuse to wild camp or use " tourist" aires and even less to steal electricity.
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Re: Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by Gromit on Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:30 pm

I can answer your questions Quilter.

1). They have "yooman rites".

2). It's politically incorrect to criticise minority groups in any way.

This is the society we have allowed to develop around us by submitting to the ludicrous demands of a tiny but vocal minority of campaigning, politically correct do-gooders, many of whom go around looking for opportunities to take offence by proxy.

Remember when primary schools were told they had to sing "baa baa coloured sheep" because it might upset black people . . . or more recently, and far more ominously, when that lady bank employee was banned from wearing a crucifix in case it offended muslims!!

Probably best of all is the rule made by some indescribably pathetic university students that their audiences must clap silently (without their hands meeting) in case it offends anyone sensitive to noise! I despair of the next generation if this is the measure of their intellect! (Some of them even believe Jeremy Corbyn can give them free university education.)

It's too easy to joke about it, but when it escalates and brings about real problems the silent majority have only themselves to blame - for staying silent!!

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Re: Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by Heanorboy on Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:14 pm

We had an incident in our village a few years back. The local Cricket club is down a lane which goes onto a well used protected area called Cadbury Hill. Anyway they arrived late one night and forced their way through the gate took over an old road which has been defunct for 50 years and the car park.
The Cricket club did the right thing and contacted the police but nothing happened.
So being a rural community we have quite a few tractors so again late at night several tractors drove down the lane each with a very,very  large rock and totally blocked them in, Smallest must have been at least 2 ton
They went back at lunch time and told them that they would move the rocks in 1 hour and would replace them again 1 hour later if they had not gone.
That was at least 5 years ago and the village has not seen any since

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Re: Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by Quilter on Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:25 pm

Gromit wrote:I can answer your questions Quilter.

1). They have "yooman rites".

2). It's politically incorrect to criticise minority groups in any way.

But what this minority of people- ie the travellers- are doing is clear, to all who see them in places like Redbridge, breaching the laws of the land in many quite clearly defined ways. The police know this, the local authorities know this and yet do nothing and, when they have gone, meekly clear up aafterwards, using my money to pay the cleaners. 

The local authority have not responded to my written questions but I have been told, unofficially,they are left alone because there are not enough police or enforcement agency personnel to do anything about it should it come to a confrontation. This I can understand in the present parlous circumstances and, perhaps, a court order is the best way to go. Why then does that court order have to take so long to put in place ?

France have a law that states that all communes of 5000 or more inhabitants have to provide a place for gens du voyage to stay. Sarkozy later introduced a law that stated that anyone not using the legal sites was liable to a 6 months jail sentence, a £3000 fine as well as confiscation of vehicle and licence. Unsurprisingly, since the original Besson law on official sites was not not carried out in many places, there are confrontations and travellers say they are being discriminated against. The police however can and do act. We seem in UK to have no laws that can touch travellers who leave rubbish, make noise and prevent people using a space for its designated purpose. I suspect that many of us, if a group of travllers moved in to overnight or to spend two or three nights in a public car park or lay by, providing they left no rubbish, made no noise and did not obstruct anyone, would not complain. These travellers are their own worst enemies and I can't seem many, liberal do-gooders or anyone else, having any sympathy at all for them much less defending any rights the travllers think they have.
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Re: Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by Gromit on Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:41 pm

Quilter wrote:I suspect that many of us, if a group of travllers moved in to overnight or to spend two or three nights in a public car park or lay by, providing they left no rubbish, made no noise and did not obstruct anyone, would not complain. These travellers are their own worst enemies and I can't seem many, liberal do-gooders or anyone else, having any sympathy at all for them much less defending any rights the travllers think they have.
I suspect you are quite correct.  smile!

We have genuine gypsies who camp just down the road from us twice a year, and any rubbish they do leave is in bags and/or stacked neatly by the roadside. It still costs money to take it away, but nothing like as much as clearing the insanitary devastation some of them leave - so no complaints.

As to your second point, the difference here is that you can discriminate, whereas most of the PC headline grabbers don't even try. In pursuit of their missionary zeal they just lump all travellers in together, with blatant (or perhaps ignorant) disregard for the behaviours of the very different groups.

If you pinned them down, or even better if you got a few of the worst travellers to park near their homes, they would soon be up in arms. As you say, no sympathy or defence of rights would be wasted on those sort of parasites on society.

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Re: Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by daisy mae on Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:02 pm

It must be hard for genuine gypsies to be lumped with the rough travellers, I have known the former, very clean/tidy, no rubbish left and polite, had a young couple with a baby on the outskirts of the village on the same lane we live on, they cooked outside, swam in the river, and when they left couldn`t tell that anyone had been there. they are welcome not the other sort..  

I spoke to one in the car park at Aldi just before Christmas, he was only there to shop at Aldi, He was telling me where he was heading, also said he lived in a house at one point, couldn`t settle so was back on the road .
He had the traditional wooden van forget the correct name for them, had to laugh he had solar panels on the side, a big stove inside , brought up to date for the technology, the usual dog in tow and a lovely horse. he was making his way west.

A very interesting man to talk to.

Another time decades( 60`s ) ago my Husband at the time and baby daughter who was 7 months were biking to the coast on holiday, had a trailer at the rear of the bike that she was in, stopped in a village early in the morning, a travelling man, he was walking, who was very well educated and very knowledgable was talking to us, as we were leaving he shoved half a crown  ( old money ) into my hand and said this is for the baby. How kind was that.

Margaret


There are good and bad in all walks of life, just feel privileged to have met some who do not "so called conform as some think they should" who were very interesting to speak with and an education for us who do "conform ." 

I also think the so called travellers do themselves no favours everywhere they go leaving rubbish etc for others to clear up. they are not true "proper" if there is such a word, travelling folk.


Last edited by daisy mae on Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:09 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : sentences added)
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Re: Travellers in Redbridge P&R Oxford

Post by Quilter on Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:26 pm

Well said Margaret.
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