LEGAL action has started against travellers who have taken over a Bicester industrial estate.

The traveller encampment at a private car park on the Telford Road industrial estate has forced businesses to halt deliveries.

The cluster of caravans is believed to have parked up on Friday evening, but authorities are yet to have moved them on due to it being private land.

Business have said they feel ‘powerless’ as more than 10 caravans have forced them to stop normal work.

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One worker from the site said many companies had to stop deliveries as the encampment blocked off the back of their shops.

Chris Leach, who works for one of the units affected, said businesses have had to take extra precautions to protect their properties.

He added: “It has caused chaos.

“We have a fleet of about ten vehicles and are supposed to have deliveries throughout the day, but all that has been stopped.

“There are about six business units here that are immediately affected, and everybody is worried about any damage that may be caused.”

He said the group had already caused damage to fences in the area and had been using the electrics from business units nearby.

Mr Leach said: “We just seem powerless. We can’t operate business as normal and don’t seem to be getting the support from the authorities.”

Another worker from the industrial estate said she had been left ‘shaken’ after being intimidated by the group while going to work with her children on Saturday.

Police were seen at the site on Saturday and Oxfordshire County Council confirmed it had also visited the site numerous times.

Bicester Town Council has also reassured residents and businesses the local authorities are ‘closely monitoring’ the situation and said legal action was underway.

Mayor Sean Gaul said: “We are aware of an illegal encampment on private property on Telford Road, Bicester, and we would like to assure residents that the local authorities and the police are closely monitoring the situation.

“As this is a civil trespass matter, it is for the land owner to initiate legal proceedings which we believe have been started.

“Bicester Town Council, together with Cherwell District Council, Oxfordshire County Council and Thames Valley Police will continue to monitor the situation whilst the legal proceedings are underway.”

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The latest traveller encampment comes after Bicester Park and Ride was plagued with numerous illegal traveller camps taking over the site last year.

More than 30 caravans parked in the car park off Vendee Drive on several occasions, often surrounding the entire site.

It forced people to avoid the park and ride, and buses were unable to serve the car park.

The encampments, once cleared, cost the council thousands of pounds to clear up and to repair the damage which include broken bollards and bricks torn from the ground.