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Henlade park and ride will be open tomorrow (Thursday, June 26)
Updated 11:07pm Wednesday 25th June 2014 in Somerset
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- Park and ride at Henlade closed at around 6.30am.
- County council says "travelling families" have moved on to site.
- Facility likely to remain closed all of Wednesday and into Thursday.
- Silk Mills park and ride still open.
Taunton Gateway Park & Ride will be open for business as usual tomorrow morning following the departure of travellers who had illegally occupied the site today Somerset County Council has said.
The travellers left the site peacefully at around 8pm.
The service will be operating as usual from 6.40am tomorrow (Thursday).
There will be a security presence on the site for the next 24 hours to ensure there are no further incidents and to reassure users of the service.
The Park and Ride Service was closed today due to health and safety concerns when around 30 travellers in cars and caravans set up camp late on Tuesday before the Park and Ride closed.
Taunton Gateway Park & Ride will be open tomorrow. Travellers have moved on and it will be business as usual tomorrow - open at 6.40am— @SomersetCouncil 25 June 2014
A statement by Somerset County Council said: "Taunton Gateway Park & Ride remains closed tonight after travellers illegally set up camp at the site yesterday.
A further assessment will be made first thing tomorrow morning by Somerset County Council officers and the police with a view to reopening as soon as possible.
Approximately 30 travellers in cars and caravans set up camp late last night shortly before the Park & Ride closed.
Pat Flaherty, Chief Executive of Somerset County Council, said: “As a Council we do a considerable amount to support the travelling community but this is totally unacceptable.
There have been reports of threatening behaviour and their actions have seriously inconvenienced hundreds of commuters today whilst putting a further strain on roads in Taunton.
We have taken legal action to remove them and hope to get the Park & Ride open again as soon as possible.”
The primary concern is for the safety of all users of the site. There are young children present and there is a risk of accidents due the large number of vehicle movements, so the decision was taken to close the Park & Ride.
Council officers are working hard to try to reopen the site for commuters as soon as possible."
Somerset County Council says the park-and-ride is likely to remain closed tomorrow - a more detailed update is expected shortly.
The travellers gained access to the facility on Tuesday night before the gates closed, the county council has confirmed.
Somerset County Council says it had no choice to close the park and ride and claims staff there were threatened.
Thanks motorists 4 patience re closure of Taunton Gateway park & ride.approx 30 travellers on site threatening staff meant no choice to shut— @SomersetCouncil 25 June 2014
This was the scene at the park and ride earlier this morning. Traffic was built up heading in to Taunton.
An update on the situation is expected from the county council this afternoon.
Somerset County Council says the bus service is still operating as normal but it is not serving the park and ride.
It is thought the bus is going as far as Blackbrook and turning around before heading back in to town.
@GazetteMMarsh pity the council can’t redirect people to park at the fire brigade control centre and run busses to / from there?— @tauntonrumours 25 June 2014
Are you being affected by this morning's disruption? Get in touch by calling 01823-365105 or tweeting @GazetteMMarsh
Taunton Gateway Park & Ride Closed http://t.co/3tI2nmI7hk— @SomersetCouncil 25 June 2014
COMMUTERS are facing disruption this morning (June 25) after travellers pitched up at the park and ride in Henlade, forcing it to close.
Somerset County Council confirmed staff and police are on-site to help affected motorists.
It said the facility has been closed "due to health and safety concerns after a number of travelling families arrived to camp at the site."
The Silk Mills park and ride remains open and motorists are advised to use that site plus town centre car parks.
A council spokesman said: "We are unable to estimate how long the park and ride will remain closed but it is likely to be all day today. A further update will be issued this afternoon.
"The site is closed due to families and children playing around caravans parked across the site making it extremely difficult for buses and cars to manoeuvre safely."
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