Residents hit out at travellers on play area

Travellers have set up camp on a play area, sparking complaints from residents who have voiced concerns it could lead to noise and mess.

Travellers have set up camp on a play area, sparking complaints from residents who have voiced concerns it could lead to noise and mess.

The caravans, trucks and vans have moved on to the concrete space off Waterloo Road, Smethwick, opposite The Barleycorn pub.

A padlock on the metal fence that once secured the space has been broken off.

The site is council-owned and used regularly by children to play football. Councillors were today due to continue discussions with police about getting the travellers moved on.

Father-of-three Ranvir Rathod, a cashier who lives opposite the site in Waterloo Road, said: “It’s very, very worrying because we do not know what they are up to. This is meant to be a playground for children but now they can’t go and play.”

The 58-year-old added: “Last night I could hear their generators and they are also coming and going all night.”

Another Waterloo Road resident, taxi driver and father-of-five Zafar Iqbal, 52, said: “This is a play area. The children want to go and play football and these guys have come and taken over.

“Of course we are worried about litter and also the noise. They don’t go to sleep.” There were recently problems with travellers at Black Patch Park on the Smethwick/Birmingham border and Bearwood councillor Bob Piper believes they have moved straight from there. “I have received lots of complaints,” he said.

“The phone will not stop ringing.

“It appears the travellers have broken onto the land. The council is now working with police to get them moved on.

“I have been in this area for 30 years and I have never known travellers on that site before.

“We had a problem with travellers in Lightwoods Park about 12 months ago. They were there four or five days. They treated the place like a toilet and left rubbish before eventually moving on.”