Fed-up locals dig trenches to deter campervans and tourists from parking at Suffolk beauty spot
Fed up of Suffolk residents wage war on staycationers and van life couples by digging trenches to prevent RVs from hiding the seaside beauty spot
- Shallow trenches have been cut into the ground to make parking more difficult
- Shingle Street Residents’ Association Devised the Unusual Plot
- Local said ‘They were dug this summer – we all agreed it was a good plan’
Exhausted locals living near a holiday destination have dug two-foot-deep trenches to try and prevent RVs from parking on their roads.
The ditches have been constructed on the side of Shingle Street, near the Suffolk coast, in an effort to force tourists into official parking spaces rather than along the roadside.
The small coastal community just a few miles from the iconic Sutton Hoo Cemetery has just a handful of homes.
But it is overrun by day trippers and overnighters.
A local resident revealed that the “do-it-yourself locks” plan had been drawn up by the residents’ association and excavated earlier this summer.
She said, “It’s not a hostile move to scare off tourists.
“It’s just to avoid blocking the single carriageway – it can be terrible at times and it took us half an hour to get to our house because everything is blocked.”
“They were dug earlier this summer after we all agreed it was a good plan.”
The ditches dug on the side of the road to deter selfish parkers in the beautiful area
Ditches have been dug to prevent motorhomes from parking near a beauty salon in Suffolk
The obstacles were created on the side of Shingle Street, near the Suffolk coast
The worst problems arose during the country’s first national lockdown last year.
“It hasn’t really been that bad here this summer,” the woman added.
“The weather was terrible, so the number of people was good and it wasn’t a problem.
“During the lockdown it was terrible. It was really like everyone was here and the road would be difficult.
“If there have been accidents in the past, it can take up to 40 minutes to get home.
“We didn’t do it as an attack on tourists, not at all — we just want people to be able to come along the road.”
The ‘trenches’ dug earlier this summer are about two feet deep, but have since been overgrown with wildflowers and weeds.
Locals want tourists and campers to park in parking garages instead of on the side of the road
The area is known locally as a beauty spot and features beaches and grassland
There are also plenty of signs along the way warning that it is private property with ‘no overnight or camping’.
Dog walkers in Shingle Street said they supported the strong move.
Ellie Marshall, 20, said: ‘It’s a lovely place to walk the dog and there’s plenty of parking.
“People can be quite selfish by parking along the roads, which ruins it for everyone.
‘The locks are a good idea if they encourage holidaymakers to think’, adds the student from Ipswich.
East Suffolk Environment Minister James Mallinder called for greater responsibility on the part of tourists.
“These things need to be checked. There is a level where too many tourists can be harmful to the community, wildlife and biodiversity.
‘We ask people to be careful with parking and to take their waste home with them. And then I don’t just think of the residents who live here, but also of our beautiful fauna.
‘We don’t have the infrastructure here’
“The roads are old and single track. There are no toilets or restaurants.
‘It is not a tourist center. Sometimes I think visitors forget that. They expect picnic tables and public facilities, and everything else. And you know, we just don’t offer that because it’s not that kind of area.’
A Suffolk County Council spokesman said: ‘The digging of the trenches has been brought to our attention several months ago, along with safety concerns and areas of potential flooding.
‘We will continue to monitor the area if work or measures are needed.
‘No permission has been given to carry out this work and we request that you do not carry out any further work.
“If parking issues remain, please contact the Suffolk Highways licensing and enforcement team.”