January 25, 2021

Litter, parking, anti social behaviour: Bessom Bridge

The 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 have seen unprecedented numbers of parked cars (191 at one count), visitors and large amounts of litter on the lake side and road verges.

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

The Parish Council has been in regular communication with the South West Lakes Trust (SWLT), Exmoor National Park Authority (ENPA), the Highways Authority and local police teams, repeatedly reporting the situation, and has specifically asked for:
– new and clear signage at Bessom Cross to the main 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 Highways 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.
To date, the Community Police’s input and presence has been disappointing.  The SWLT and ENPA  joined forces to clear litter and South West Water employed a security firm to patrol the area on sunny weekends.  However, no positive effort has been forthcoming to encourage use of the main site and the SWLT has advised that it will not suspend parking charges.
Residents who witness situations that cause them concern may wish to raise the issue s 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