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FAQs - Temporary traveller transit site

Why have one?

Dudley residents have told us very clearly that they want action taken to prevent unauthorised incursions by travellers.

Such encampments cause frustration, fear and anger among residents in local communities through damage and nuisance.

It is currently costing the council – and the taxpayer – in excess of £150,000 per year in legal and clean-up costs to move travellers on from illegal encampments on parks and open spaces in the borough.  

Over three years, having a transit site is likely to save money and save many Dudley communities from the anger, frustration and annoyance of having valued green spaces damaged and contaminated with waste by unauthorised incursions, as has happened in recent years.

Having a transit site that is within Dudley borough gives the council and police new powers to address unauthorised incursions. This power only applies if the transit site is located within the borough.

What difference will it make?

The council currently has to secure possession of an occupied site via a legal process that can take between three and seven working days to complete.

The existence of a transit site allows the police to use the “power to direct” under section 62 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. Under this section of the act, groups forming unlawful encampments can be ordered by the police to move all caravans and vehicles to a transit site if one is available.

Any group that refuses to leave when directed by the police under section 62, or that return to any site within the same local authority area within three months of being directed to move to a transit site, would be committing a criminal offence.

The effect of the powers provided by the provision of a transit site means that unauthorised encampments could be dealt with in as little as 24 hours if a group refused to move.

Has it worked elsewhere?


Other councils who have provided transit sites have found there has been a very significant reduction in the overall number of illegal encampments experienced.

For example, Telford & Wrekin Council experienced 150 incursions during 2015. During 2017 following provision of a transit site, this number has dropped to 18. Due to the fact that the power under section 62a is available, 17 of the 18 moved within half a day out of the borough. The remaining incursion moved to the transit site.

Sandwell has recently established a transit site in Smethwick after experiencing 85 incursions during 2016/17. Since providing the site earlier this year there has been nine further unauthorised incursions, all but one of which moved on within two hours. The remaining incursion moved to the transit site as instructed, but left rather than pay the required deposit and advanced rental.

It is likely, based on evidence from elsewhere, that overall the site will be used very infrequently indeed.

Will travellers be charged to stay on the temporary transit site?


Groups of travellers moving to the temporary transit site will be charged rent to stay temporarily on the site, and only groups camping illegally on council-owned sites within the borough will be moved to the transit site.

Based upon similar arrangements elsewhere, notably in Sandwell, the charge would be in the region of £80 per caravan per week as well as a security deposit (£250) on the site payable in advance.

Such a group would also have to adhere to an agreement signed by them on behaviour and littering prior to occupation.

How long can they stay for?

In Sandwell, caravans can stay up to four weeks but none have yet stayed overnight. We will decide how long travellers can stay on our site if the decision is taken to provide a transit site.

How were the sites chosen?

Officers were directed to identify sites that were large enough for around 40 caravans and towing vehicles.

Ten sites were identified and a range of criteria established against which to ‘score’ sites. They include whether the site is currently available for use, whether there are potential alternative uses being considered, the suitability of the location, access and planning and other constraints.

Having carefully considered all of the sites available, the site that ranked highest was the site at Budden Road, Coseley.

More information on the current position with regards to travellers in Dudley borough

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