TRAVELLERS have pitched up in a loading bay at Halfords in Westcliff.

The caravan was parked up at the motoring store, in London Road, on Wednesday afternoon, prompting concern from residents.

A senior Southend councillor has now called on the Government to change legislation to make the eviction process easier.

Tory councillor Mark Flewitt said: “There is no excuse, no one has the right to go on someone else’s land or property- they do not have licence to be there.

“They can cause a nuisance to the community and property owners sometimes. “

He urged the Government to consider changes in the law to help people whose property is used by travellers.

Mr Flewitt, who represents St Laurence ward on Southend Council, said:

“I think the legislation should be reformed because as it is now, the onus is on the owner who hasn’t done any wrong.

“It needs to be easier to get a possession order to evict them.”

A woman who lives nearby, who asked not to be named, said the travellers were causing chaos.

She added: “When I saw them they had vans, a car and deckchairs in the parking lot.

“I saw the children running around in the store, it is disgusting that people would let their children do that.

“I don’t understand how they are allowed to do this, they could do it anywhere, even our front garden.

“It is so close to a busy street, it is not like they have chosen to park in a rural area- they are in the middle of a town.

“They come and go, that’s what travellers do, so you never know how many of them are there.

“How does anyone keep the situation under control?

Southend, as well as most of south Essex has had continuous issues with travellers.

Because the travellers move onto private land, it is not up to the council to take action.

Instead, owners have to take the matter through the courts, which can often be a lengthy process.

Mary Brown, who lives in Westcliff said she was frustrated with the situation.

She added: “It’s frustrating because no one can do anything, it is like they have more rights than the residents and businesses.

“It’s not the council’s problem, or the police’s and it can take so long and cost a fortune to take them to court to get rid of them.

“There is such an issue with travellers in Southend, more needs to be done.”

She added: “Maybe there should be somewhere in the area that they can park temporarily, I wouldn’t mind that.

Earlier this month, travellers without caravans spent nine days living in tents in Scott Park, off Western Approaches, Eastwood, leaving rubbish at the site.