Shropshire Star

Hundreds more Traveller caravans in Shropshire

There were more Traveller caravans pitched in Shropshire at the start of this year, new government figures show.

Last updated

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276

The data has been unveiled as the Friends, Families and Travellers charity celebrates Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month, which runs through June.

In response to the figures, the charity has called for more safe stopping places for the communities.

Figures from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities show there were 218 Traveller caravans recorded in Shropshire in January – up from 201 the year before.

None of the caravans counted this year were unauthorised. The data also shows there were spaces for 154 caravans at local authority and privately-owned sites in Shropshire.

How do the number of Traveller caravans in Shropshire compare to the rest of England?

Across England, there were 26,632 caravans counted in January, an increase of 7 per cent from the year before.

The department said the increase this year was higher than average. It added this is partly explained by data quality improvements in the most recent count, with more authorities submitting data.

Of the caravans recorded nationally, 86 per cent were on authorised land and 14 per cent were unauthorised.

The number of unauthorised caravans has risen 13 per cent from January 2023 – the majority of these were on land owned by Travellers.

Hundreds more Traveller caravans reported in Shropshire

What has the Traveller community said about caravans in England?

A spokesperson for Friends, Families and Travellers, which works on behalf of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities across the UK, said a national shortage of safe stopping places has caused an increase in Gypsies and Travellers living on roadside camps.

They added "entire families are stranded with nowhere else to go".

"National government must ensure councils have the appropriate funding in place so that Gypsy and Traveller families can access secure living conditions through the creation of more safe stopping places," they added.

"Everyone deserves a safe place to rest."

The charity's general election campaign has asked parties to introduce stronger legislation encouraging councils to create adequate provision for Travellers.

It said Gypsy and Traveller sites are often built on dangerous roads, and close to tips and sewage works.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.