A LOCAL resident was taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg after an incident involving travellers and villagers at Glazebury, near Warrington.
Residents claimed the man was struck by a van towing a caravan in Heyshoots Lane, Glazebury where the travellers had moved from the car park of the nearby M&S discount store, in Warrington Road.
Police questioned villagers and travellers and impounded a van and a caravan.
Details of the injuries suffered by the resident are not known.
The incident followed a confrontation last night between residents and travellers near a site owned by United Utilities in Heyshoots Lane.
Anger is growing across North Warrington today as increasing numbers of travellers converged on the area.
Travellers who originally set up an unauthorised “camp” at Birchwood and later moved onto the car park at Culcheth’s Shaw Street playing field later split up and occupied a number of sites in the Culcheth and Glazebury area.
One contingent moved to the M&S discount store while others went to Heyshoots Lane and a third group were parked on land near the Noggin Inn at Risley.
Borough council officers and the police were monitoring the situation and later the travellers moved on, either to Leigh or to Accrington.
Culcheth councillor Keith Bland said residents were angry because the travellers appeared to be able to occupy sites for short periods with impunity and then move to other sites nearby.
There were concerns over litter and the possibility that one of the sites would be occupied for a longer period.
Cllr Bland said it had proved relatively easy to get the travellers moved from Shaw Street, because it was a sports field. But it was more difficult to get them moved from private land. However, police had persuaded the travellers to move from the M&S store.
One rumour circulating in the Culcheth area was that travellers were gathering in the area because they were negotiating to buy land at Croft.
Another was that one of the travellers’ children was seriously ill and was being treated at Warrington.
Police said they went to Heyshoots Lane following a call from the ambulance concerning a man having been struck by a van towing a caravan on the roadside.
The man, aged 54 and local to the area, was taken to Warrington Hospital where he underwent treatment for a leg injury and was later discharged.
The driver of the van, believed to be a member of the travelling community who had voluntarily moved earlier the same day from a temporary location in another part of Glazebury, had left the scene prior to arrival of police patrols.
The white Ford Transit van and caravan involved in the incident were seized by police for examination and investigation into the circumstances of the incident are progressing locally.
Chief Inspector Jon Ward said: “We have resources committed to investigating this incident and are keen to trace the driver of the van. I would urge the driver to come forward and make contact with ourselves so this matter can be progressed and the full circumstances of the incident can be established. I would also like to take this opportunity to remind local residents that the safety and well-being of our communities, including the traveller communities in our area, remain our priority and would urge anyone with any information regarding this incident, particularly any witnesses who saw the incident take place, to contact Cheshire Police on 101.”
In thye past, travellers have succeeded in setting up permanent sites elsewhere in Warrington and across Cheshire after buying land and then winning retrospective planning permission on appeal because of the lack of official traveller sites in the area.
Pictured: Travellers on the car park at the M&S discount store, Glazebury