John Leigh Park travellers move on after police step up presence

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John Leigh Park is once again a traveller-free park after the group that had arrived on Thursday moved on this afternoon.

The group – which had included at least nine caravans and other vehicles – had on Friday been served a 24-hour notice period to leave the Altrincham park.

At lunchtime today, a member of the group told Altrincham Today that they had no intention to comply with the police order and were hoping to stay in the park “for a few days” while a court order was processed.

The travellers in the park at lunchtime today
The travellers in the park at lunchtime today, and (top) after they had left

However, the group appears to have changed its mind when police stepped up their presence in the park at 1.30pm today, the time the notice period expired. We’re still awaiting the full details of the operation from the police.

Seven officers were in the park for around two hours, with the travellers then deciding to move off in convoy. It’s not known where the travellers have moved on to, although one of the travellers told us earlier today that their next stop would be “somewhere else in Manchester”.

One caravan and a trailer, as well as a small car, remain in the park on the site the travellers were based, but it’s understood that is because the vehicles have mechanical faults and could not start. It’s thought the owners will return to collect the vehicles at a later date.

The one remaining caravan and trailer, which has broken down
The one remaining caravan and trailer, which has broken down

David Jolley, from the Friends of John Leigh Park, said the park was now “business almost as usual” and that there had been no permanent damage caused.

He said: “The turf is scarred because there was rain and the vehicles and vans were heavy, but I guess this will heal before too long.

“There was a modest amount of litter but most had been tidied into a bin and we have collected the rest. One of our regular gardening team is coming over from Carrington tomorrow morning to collect the full bin bags and provide new ones.

“We give thanks and look forward.”

The group of travellers is the second to have set up camp in an Altrincham park in three months, following a separate group’s four-day stint on Long Hey Playing Fields in June.

Below: Video from the park after the travellers had left this afternoon

See footage of the travellers leaving the park on our Facebook page

From our Instagram page