Calls for bylaw to end use of road as campsite.

Article in Sidmouth Herald August 14 2015.

Homeowners, whose street was used 'like a festival campsite', are calling on highways chiefs to create a new bylaw and give them some peace. Residents say numerous campervans lined Bickwell Valley over FolkWeek and accused users of hanging washing, cleaning themselves, cooking - and even defecating in residents' gardens.

Christine Bull said the motorists should pay to camp like everyone else and leave the parking free for the locals who need it.

"They're a law unto themselves," the 70-year-old said last week. "They just come along and move all the cones. If a Sidmouth person did that, they would get a ticket."

"You don't know who they are. I wouldn't dare leave the house empty - there's a lot of strange people walking round the town."

Some of the vehicles have toilets on board, but Mrs Bull said they would fill in three days - and she did not want to think about where they were emptied.

She and her husband, Chris, own a motor home and said it can be pleasant if done right - and if you stay on a campsite. "There are no toilets at this end of town - in Cheese Lane it hasn't only been dog mess," she added.

"Why don't they have the festival at Westpoint? They could make all the noise they liked and no one would know."

Mrs Bull said she was told that without a bylaw, the police could not move on campervan owners unless their vehicle was causing an obstruction.

The FolkWeek programme has some advice for campervan owners, which states: "We have become concerned in recent years about the growing number of people sleeping in motor homes on the streets and camping on verges, during FolkWeek. "Apart from the disturbance this can cause to residents, it is illegal and may cause a hazard to traffic and put lives at risk. "We would, therefore, ask visitors to the festival to ensure that you do not put yourself or others at risk in this way."

Spaces are available during FolkWeek at the rugby and cricket clubs, and serve as major fundraisers for them. Parking for motor homes in district council car parks is only available between 8am and I0pm.

Devon County Council was approached for comment, but had not replied as the Herald went to press.

See this page for an up date on the topic of camping overnight on public roads.

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