Shopping centre open as normal despite travellers’ camp in car park

Shopping centres bosses say outlets will be open as normal tomorrow despite having up to 40 travellers’ caravans illegally parked on their car park.

Shoppers and staff watched in amazement as a convoy of vans and caravans pulled into car parks at Fleetwood Freeport outlet centre yesterday afternoon.

Travellers at Fleetwood. Pic: Ryan Portman

Travellers at Fleetwood. Pic: Ryan Portman

Within hours the travellers had made themselves at home and refused to shift despite visits from the police and High Court enforcement officers.

Now centre bosses hope the travellers will listen to reason and quit the site within 24 hours.

A spokesman for the centre said: “We couldn’t believe our eyes when they started turning up, claiming spaces in all the car parks.

“We have had no trouble from them but obviously people were anxious because they weren’t used to this sort of thing.

Freeport in Fleetwood

Freeport in Fleetwood

“All the shops remained open until 6pm as normal and we plan to be open as normal tomorrow as well.

“The police were informed and the travellers were visited by enforcement officers, but they have refused to move.”

One shopper added, as Freeport prepared to close for the night: “It’s not something you expect to see on a shopping trip.

“They don’t seem to be causing any problems but I would be worried about where they are planning to go to the toilet tonight.

“I know a couple of people decided to put off their shopping because they did not want to park too near the caravans.”