Somerset County Council has taken High Court action to stop illegal encampments disrupting its park and ride service for Taunton.
The authority has obtained a High Court injunction that will mean it can react far quicker to unauthorised encampments at the Gateway Park and Ride in Ruishton.
The park and ride has been subject to numerous unauthorised encampments in recent years which have at times meant the site has had to be temporarily shut or services disrupted. It is hoped that the court injunction will deter further encampments and disruption for park and ride users.
The order made by Bristol High Court prohibits unauthorised encampments at the Park and Ride, allowing the County Council to initiate proceedings to recover possession of the site as quickly as possible, should the need arise.
Cllr David Fothergill, Cabinet Member with a responsibility for transport in Somerset said: “Our Park and Ride services are there to help motorists and ease congestion, and it’s a real problem when they are interrupted and disrupted.
“I sincerely hope we don’t have to use these powers, and that the fact that we now have them will be enough to deter any further encampments.”
Once the occupiers have been served with a copy of the order, should they not leave the site within a specified timeframe the injunction order then permits the authority to take steps to remove them. Any breach of such an injunction carries the threat of vehicles being seized or the occupants being fined or even sent to prison so refusal to comply with the order becomes a very serious issue.