HOLIDAYING traveller families have set up camp in a seafront car park – but none of them has paid for parking.

Six motor homes have moved into the council-owned Fairheads Green car park in Eastern Esplanade, Southend, near the Sea-Life Adventure marine centre.

Council parking wardens tried to slap tickets on the illegally-parked vehicles, but retreated after they were threatened and verbally intimidated. One female traveller, who did not wish to be identified, told the Echo the group had no plans to stay and were just enjoying a holiday.

She said: “We’re not camping, we’re just tourists like everybody else.”

However, one day-tripper, 59, who had paid to park nearby, said: “It is one rule for travellers and another for everyone else. What a surprise the police aren’t standing up to them. If I acted like this I’d get arrested. They should pay like everyone else has to.”

Philip Miller, boss of Sea-Life Adventure and Adventure Island, said the travellers were scaring away customers.

Mr Miller said: “This has had a negative effect on our trade as visitors feel frightened and intimidated.

“I hope the police can work to bring this to a swift and safe conclusion and move these people on.

“It is such a shame coming off the back of a fantastic Easter weekend for the town with City Beach proving such a huge success.

“A seafront car park is not an appropriate place for people to live. Plus the town is losing revenue from unpaid parking.”

A middle-aged couple using the car park, who did not wish to be identified, said: “I hope they don’t stay too long because when word gets around it will stop people using this car park altogther.”

The travellers were given an eviction notice by the council yesterday by which stage there were six motorised homes in the car park, near the new Mariner’s Square. Originally about ten had arrived.

A council officer, accompanied by police, served the travellers with a notice at 12.15pm. It gives them 48 hours to leave otherwise their vehicles could be confiscated.