'Occupied' Taunton Gateway park-and-ride temporarily closed

The Taunton Gateway site,
Image caption The county council hopes the site will reopen by Monday afternoon

A park-and-ride in Somerset which has been occupied by travellers will remain closed over the weekend following safety concerns.

Somerset County Council said the decision had been made following the "unlawful occupation" of the Taunton Gateway site near the M5's junction 25.

Councillor David Hall apologised for the inconvenience to motorists.

"We hope people will understand that there is nothing we can do in these circumstances," he said.

'Enforcement action'

"We have families with children as young as five living in an area where buses and cars are manoeuvring about.

"It is obviously a dangerous environment and we therefore have to close down the site."

The park-and-ride, to the east of Taunton, stayed open on Friday evening to allow drivers to remove their cars but will be closed all day on Saturday and on Monday morning.

The site is not normally open on Sunday.

Somerset County Council said it hoped it would be operating normally from Monday afternoon following "enforcement action" to remove the travellers.

It urged motorists to check on the council website before travelling to the site on Monday.

The town's other park-and-ride, at Silk Mills to the west of the town, is open as normal.

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