April 11, 2021

Litter, parking, anti social behaviour: Bessom Bridge

Last summer’s hot weather and the easing of Covid-19 restrictions attracted many people to Wimbleball. The pressure of large visitor numbers to the Bessom Bridge area of Wimbleball was very high, and at times extreme. We saw unprecedented numbers of parked cars (191 at one count), visitors and large amounts of litter on the lake side and road verges.

Many residents raised concerns with Brompton Regis Parish Council about the negative effects of all this on their daily life and on the environment, and local and visiting fishermen reported being unable to fish.

The Parish Council was in regular communication with the South West Lakes Trust (SWLT), Exmoor National Park Authority (ENPA), the Highways Authority and local Avon and Somerset Police (ASP) teams, repeatedly reporting the situation, and specifically asked for:
 
– new and clear signage at Bessom Cross to the main SWLT car park and activity centre and for the parking to be free in order to encourage visitors away from the bridge area
– no Stopping or No Waiting Highway signs on the road between Bessom Cross and the narrows by the gate entrance to the bridleway which would make clear to drivers the restrictions and enable the Police to take action on parking problems
– police action against breaks in Covid-19 regulations
– police action against alcohol related anti social behaviour.
 
Looking ahead to 2021, the ASP team is providing regular online and phone discussions to bring together the various organisations that were involved in seeking to manage the situation in 2020. The Parish Council continues to ask for action to:
– prevent dangerous and inconsiderate parking on and around Bessom Bridge
– steps to encourage visitors to use the main car park and facilities
– actions to reduce litter, barbecues and anti social behaviour around Bessom Bridge.  
Residents who witness situations that cause them concern may wish to raise the issues in the following ways:
– ring the police non emergency number 101 and email the local police team (bryan.stevens@avonandsomerset.police.uk ) to report breaks in Covid -19 regulations, parking issues, highways issues and alcohol related anti social behaviours
– email SWLT to report concerns on the lakeside:  NReeves@swlakestrust.org.uk
– email ENPA to report concerns in the area around the lake: DJBarnett@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk
– email BRPC Clerk to report concerns and actions: brpcclerk@gmail.com