1. ITV Report

Travellers move into commuter car park at rail station in Cambridge

Travellers have moved into the station car park at Cambridge North closing it off to commuters. Photo: ITV News Anglia

The commuter car park at Cambridge North station has been closed after an encampment of travellers moved in.

The rail company Greater Anglia tweeted to warn passengers to use alternative transport to get to the station.

Although the car park was closed during the morning, the travellers had begun to move on by midday.

They moved to a nearby disused park and ride car park off Cowley Road.

  • Click to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Elodie Harper

A Greater Anglia spokesperson said: “Travellers have set up camp at Cambridge North, taking up most of the car park. Notice was served yesterday and we expect them to leave this afternoon.

“Land Sheriffs and the British Transport Police are carrying out regular patrols.”

Traveller 'Big Doddie' Stokes, seen here with this baby son Michael, said they just wanted to have Christmas together.

Travellers told ITV Anglia News they just want to spend a family Christmas together without being moved on.

ITV Anglia spoke to 'Big Doddie' Stokes, seen here with his baby son Michael, who said the place where they're now camped "is out of town and out of use." He added, "we don't want to cause people any hassle, we just want to have Christmas together."

Mr Stokes thought there were about 65 caravans and 132 people at the camp, and that they wanted everyone, especially elderly relatives and children, to be together over Christmas. He said the travellers will leave on Boxing Day.

The travellers moved off the station car park to a nearby disused park-and-ride site. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Another traveller, who didn't wish to be named, added that there needs to be more common land sites provided for travellers to camp together without causing disruption to local communities.

Around noon on Tuesday the travellers were evicted from the car park just over the road at Cambridge North Station where they had been camped since Sunday.

The eviction was peaceful and over seen by baillifs from Bryan Lecoche Limited, officers from BTP and Cambridgeshire Constabulary.

"We never solve the problem, it's very short term, all we're doing is moving the problem around which is great for our business of course but it doesn't solve the overall problem which is what central or local government might be able - or not be able - to do."

– Bryan Lecoche
Travellers currently camped at the old park and ride car park off Cowley Road have told ITV Anglia News they just want to spend a family Christmas together.

Cambridge North station in the Chesterton area of the city is one of the newest of the rail network.

It was opened to passengers in May 2017 with the official opening by the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling in August.

Cambridge North is managed by train operator Greater Anglia, with Great Northern trains also stopping at the station, providing connections to London’s King’s Cross and Liverpool Street stations, and Ely, Norwich and Cambridge.

The station serves Cambridge Science and Business Parks.

Cambridge North station is one of the newest of the rail network. Credit: ITV News Anglia
Rail company Greater Anglia has warned passengers to avoid the car park at Cambridge North Station. Credit: ITV News Anglia