Don't miss a story sign up to Sidmouth Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Call for measures to tackle rogue visitors who tore down parking restriction signs and used Sidmouth residents’ gardens as toilets during FolkWeek

PUBLISHED: 12:30 14 August 2017 | UPDATED: 07:55 15 August 2017

Camper vans parked in Bickwell Valley. Ref shs 32 17TI 9131. Picture: Terry Ife

Camper vans parked in Bickwell Valley. Ref shs 32 17TI 9131. Picture: Terry Ife


Rogue visitors in campervans and cars have been accused of blighting two Sidmouth roads with ‘disgusting’ behaviour – going as far as urinating in residents’ gardens.

Camper vans parked in Bickwell Valley. Ref shs 32 17TI 9127. Picture: Terry IfeCamper vans parked in Bickwell Valley. Ref shs 32 17TI 9127. Picture: Terry Ife

The shocking incidents, which also include the tearing down of roadside restriction signs to avoid parking tickets, have left homeowners outraged since the beginning of FolkWeek.

Residents are now pleading with the authorities to enforce a bylaw to crack down on people parking on the roads overnight and to resolve the issues, which they claim are a problem every year during the festival.

Councillor Stuart Hughes said he had a ‘nightmare weekend’ as FolkWeek began, with his phone being red-hot with angry residents complaining about the issues. He said signs prohibiting cars, campervans and caravans parking in Bickwell Valley and Glen Road have either been cut down or thrown over hedges – along with cones put in place to block parts of the roads.

This has rendered parking enforcement officers powerless to do anything. And, to add insult to injury, some visitors have been using people’s gardens as toilets.

Camper vans parked in Bickwell Valley. Ref shs 32 17TI 9125. Picture: Terry IfeCamper vans parked in Bickwell Valley. Ref shs 32 17TI 9125. Picture: Terry Ife

Cllr Hughes said: “They think they can camp for cheap and then decide to use people’s gardens as toilets - it is disgusting.”

He added that FolkWeek organisers appointed the AA to put the signs up, which gave officers the legal power to dish out tickets.

Cllr Hughes said he was looking into creating a public space protection order which would stop people from parking and sleeping overnight on public highways in the town. This would not come into force until next year.

Alan Weaver, who has lived in Bickwell Valley for 18 years, said: “I love the festival, however, we are very disappointed that the council has done nothing. I have been complaining to the festival organisers, police and council for 15 years.

“This year, they [visitors] have been throwing the waste buckets into the main drainage system. My neighbour has resorted to putting disinfectant down the drains because she can’t stand the smell.”

John Whelan, 78, a morris dancer from Bouremouth, has been visiting Sidmouth for FolkWeek since 1966 and normally parks in Bickwell Valley.

“I have not seen any evidence of what has been suggested,” he said. “We don’t want to ruin it for ourselves.

“The residents here just think we are riff-raff and we are not. We are all pulled up as near [to the side of the road] as we can and the road is sufficiently wide enough to fit through. We are quiet and considerate and never leave rubbish.”

A FolkWeek spokeswoman said organisers were working with the traffic authorities to implement parking restrictions, which were being ‘regularly’ monitored and enforced.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other News Stories


Dive journalist Mark Taylor Hutchinson gives a first hand account of getting up close with the world’s largest sharks.

Read more

Ottery’s neighbourhood police team will welcome a new officer in the coming months but there are no plans ‘at this time’ for a new PCSO.

Read more

East Devon District Council (EDDC) is checking that householders who claim a 25 per cent council tax discount for living alone are still entitled to it.

Read more

New pay-and-display parking charges aimed at raising additional revenue for the Manor Pavilion could end up costing it £2,000 if a group leaves after 50 years.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:24

A rescue dog who was found on the brink of death in a Romanian street is quickly becoming one of Sidmouth’s most popular residents.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30

Sidmouth’s Rotarians will be out in force next week to help raise money to help those hit by natural disasters.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:14

Should criminals go to prison as punishment, or should they be punished while they are there?

Read more
Yesterday, 08:30

From the archives - here’s the full photo gallery of the 1983 Sidmouth carnival procession.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00

Water utility company bosses are ‘looking at all of the available options’ to improve reliability in Newton Poppleford and end the traffic disruption caused by bursts.

Read more
Fri, 18:30

The bright lights of the carnival season are heading to Sidmouth tomorrow.

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 16°C

min temp: 13°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder


Show Job Lists

Find planning applications