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Overnight parking on Felixstowe seafront latest

Undercliff Road East in Felixstowe

With easy access to the beach, free tap water and public toilets just metres away, the Undercliff Road East area of the town has become a popular destination for touring vehicles.

Parking on Undercliff Road East is currently free for all who wish to visit the seafront.

However, there are now fears that new parking restrictions could soon be introduced on the road, in an attempt to deter long-term campervan parking in the area.

Shaun Davis, a motorhome owner from Sudbury, says “it’s great” that he is able to park for free but tries to be respectful to local residents.

“We always stay behind the beach huts, so it’s not in anyone’s view,” he says. “I do think if you’re going to put tables and chairs outside, it’s a bit wrong.

“I wouldn’t do that.”

Mr Davis says he comes to Felixstowe regularly but only stays for one night.

“I have seen a few [motorhomes] that have been here for a week. I think the fairest thing would be a time limit – 24 hours or something like that.”

Dominic Gaines, who lives in a converted van, says: “I think it’s nice to be next to the sea and have free parking.”

He believes there are “certain prejudices” about people who live in campervans.

“People think I’m some gypsy that’s going to start setting up camp and going to live there. Sometimes I just need a space where I can clear up, enjoy myself and I’ll move on.”

Mr Gaines says he contributes to the local economy where possible.

“I might not go to all the fancy restaurants but I certainly go to local shops and use facilities. I put back in to the community.”

The Mayor of Felixstowe, Seamus Bennett, says he has known up to 40 campervans and motorhomes to be parked on the road at any one time.

“In the last year or two in particular, the number of vans and motorhomes taking up huge amounts of space for huge amounts of time has really got to a level that we need to look at this and try to divide out the parking resources a bit more fairly.”

In a statement to the BBC, East Suffolk Council said: “We are working with Felixstowe Town Council to identify what we can do to change the restrictions in this area and potentially find suitable locations for campervans in other parts of the town.

“Our parking enforcement teams are not currently able to move campervans on as there are no legal restrictions in place to allow us to do so.

“On the street however, the county council sets the restrictions, and at Felixstowe there are no restrictions on campervan use on the road.”

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