Travellers leave Cheltenham's Sandford Park Lido car park
A GROUP of travellers have vacated the spot outside Cheltenham's Sandford Parks Lido where they set up camp prior to the weekend.
Three caravans arrived in the car park of the outdoor pool, in Keynsham Road, last week, with occupants setting up picnic chairs, gas canisters and washing up buckets outside their vehicles.
The arrival raised eyebrows among staff at the pool, who immediately sought legal advice on how to go about moving their new neighbours on.
But, just as quickly as they arrived, the travellers departed over the weekend, leaving without a trace.
Staff at the lido confirmed the travellers had left the site.
Iain Barton, events manager at the pool, expressed a sense of relief that the uninvited guests were no longer there.
"We did have a few of our members phoning us up to ask if they had gone yet," he said.
"Ultimately, when we are busy we need all the parking spaces for our customers so from that point of view we are glad to have the spaces back.
"This has been a record-breaking season for us and we're still open until the end of the month so we're hoping for a good couple of weeks."
Staff at the lido admitted it had been a somewhat tense situation, after the travellers had demanded to use the pool's toilets and showers. But they said the situation was resolved amicably with the travellers departing on good terms.
Mr Barton added: "There was no problem.
"They wanted to come in and use the facilities and we said they could as long as they paid for it just like anyone else."
The travellers' brief stay at the lido comes as the public is being asked to help identify more traveller sites across Gloucestershire.
People are being invited to earmark places which could have publicly-run organised sites. It follows all local councils being told by the Government to identify and update annually a supply of gipsy, traveller and travelling showpeople residential areas.
The authorities will not be told how many sites they should have in their areas, but must have a five-year land supply, as they do for housing.
Tracy Crews, head of planning at Cheltenham Borough Council, said: "The council is responsible for making sure that all of Cheltenham's communities have an opportunity to live somewhere that meets their needs.
"By doing this work up front, we aim to ensure people from these groups can be accommodated on suitable sites."
The public consultation, which applies for the whole county, will run until the end of this Friday.
The decision to consult the public on the matter, for the first time since 2010, follows a Gloucestershire Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Accommodation Assessment which was carried out by independent consultants.