South East Wales

French travellers still at Royal Gwent hospital car park

Caravans parked in the Royal Gwent staff car park
Image caption The travellers did not meet a request to leave by Tuesday afternoon

French travellers have continued to block spaces in a hospital car park, despite health bosses vowing to take legal action against them.

The travellers were asked to move 13 caravans from the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport by 16:00 BST on Tuesday.

However, hospital security staff confirmed some travellers remained there on Wednesday morning.

One traveller told BBC Wales they were planning to leave later on Wednesday once one of their cars had been fixed.

The travellers, who said they were attending a funeral, arrived at the 300-space car park on Saturday, taking up 65 spaces.

'Legal proceedings'

Surgeons, doctors and nurses were turned away from the car park on Monday, but a hospital spokesman said patient services had not been disrupted.

After the 16:00 BST deadline passed on Tuesday, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, which runs the hospital, confirmed it would take legal action.

"As you will be aware, the health board has requested that the travellers leave our hospital car park by 4pm [on Tuesday]," a board member said.

"Given that the travellers are still here following our request, the health board confirms that it will now be taking legal proceedings to take back possession of the hospital car park."

Julian Hayman, a spokesman for the hospital, said security staff would remain in the car park and that the situation would continue to be monitored.

He added it was hoped the travellers would leave of their own accord without the need for potentially costly legal proceedings.

"However, this has been passed to our legal department now and it will be dealing with the situation from here," he said.

One of the travellers, Ringo Gogan, told the BBC they planned to leave for France at 17:00 BST once one of their cars had been repaired.

He said they had come to Wales for a funeral and told police they were staying for a couple of days.

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