Travellers set up camp outside Cheltenham Lido
Travellers have set up camp outside Cheltenham’s Lido.
Three caravans have been parked in the carpark of the outdoor swimming pool, in Keynsham Road, with occupants claiming they are planning to stay for “two or three days”.
The unexpected guests have wasted no time in making themselves at home, settling up picnic chairs outside the vehicles, along with gas canisters and washing up buckets.
The arrival raised eyebrows among swimmers as they arrived at the pool this morning for a dip.
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Bosses at the Lido say they have sought legal advice and asked the travellers to move on.
But the travellers told the Echo they had a right to be there.
One of them said: “We are paying to be parked here - £8 a day - so as far as I’m concerned we have a right to be here.
“People look at us as if they have come from outer space, but we are just normal people. I don't understand what all the fuss is about.”
Another traveller added: “We are just passing through. We’re not planning to stay for more than two or three days.”
Staff at the Lido admitted it was a “tense” situation, after their new neighbours had demanded to use the pool’s toilets and showers.
A spokesman for the Lido said the travellers were already parked up by the time staff arrived for work.
He added: “Some travellers have moved into the pay and display car park.
“We’ve informed them that we are a charity and asked them to move on.
“We’ve sought legal advice and hope that they will move on over the weekend.”
Lido chiefs have also consulted the council about providing the visitors with refuse bags.
A spokesperson for the authority said: "The Lido Trust advised us of the travellers' arrival on Wednesday and we been out to visit the site.
"The usual procedure is to make sure that there are no real nuisance issues and that the travellers have adequate refuse bags.
"As the land is private and is controlled by the lido, it is the lido's responsibility to ask them to leave - however we do understand that this will be a short stay."