Mayor's pledge on seafront camper vans

Caravans and camper vans lined Undercliff Road East in Felixstowe over the Easter weekend 

Caravans and camper vans lined Undercliff Road East in Felixstowe over the Easter weekend - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The mayor of a seaside town has pledged to explore ways of tackling a growing number of motorhomes and camper vans clogging up a busy seafront road. 

The vehicles have been parking nose-to-tail next to the prom - leaving little room for people to get through to cross the road - so the owners can wake up next to the beach.

But Felixstowe Mayor councillor Mark Jepson said he would seek support from fellow town councillors to look into new measures that could be introduced on Undercliff Road East, where frustrated residents have reported seeing up to 35 vehicles parked, some with two wheels on the promenade. 

The problems in the road opposite the Fludyers Hotel have been going on for a number of years, with calls being made for bylaws to be introduced restricting the times of day in which camper vans and motorhomes can park or for visitors to have to pay, which could act as a deterrent. 

Other seafront locations around the country have bylaws in place, such as Scarborough in North Yorkshire where motorhomes are not allowed to park in specified streets between 11pm and 7am each day. 

Motorhomes and caravans parked in Undercliff Road East. 

Motorhomes and caravans parked in Undercliff Road East. - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FELIXSTOWE RESIDENT

As well as the potential damage to the paving from heavy vehicles such as camper vans, other concerns have included a lack of space between vehicles for pedestrians to get through and space taken up by people putting tables and chairs on the prom. 

Although civil enforcement of parking is now in place, enabling the town council to introduce a bylaw, Mr Jepson said both the town council and East Suffolk Council needed to discuss what measures would be most appropriate before any action was taken. 

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He said: “We will explore what the next steps are. Is there a need for us to look at it and then explore what the process is. If there is a will for it, then what are the next steps, if that is the will of the council?  

“It would have to be done on a vote to say, ‘yes, we would like to see some changes'." 

Mr Jepson said he was familiar with the location as he was a regular swimmer, but any response would have to balance the desire to attract visitors to the town. 

In a letter, Felixstowe resident Chris Versey expressed his concerns about the situation. 

He said: “These vehicles should simply not be allowed to park on the public highway and should seek out off-road parking in a designated camping area and pay, like lots of other more conscientious owners have to. 

“There is no valid argument to say they are bringing additional revenue to the town either. They park for nothing, they bring their own food and drink and use all available facilities such as toilets and showers and fresh water, completely free.”