TRADERS are breathing a sigh of relief after travellers moved off a seafront car park.
Several shops have been closed since the group set up camp in the council facility at Eastoke Corner on Hayling Island.
There were around 18 caravans parked up at one stage.
The encampment led to many shoppers and tourists staying away.
One shopkeeper, who did not want to be named, said she had not bothered opening up and had felt uncomfortable as dogs had been running loose.
She said: ‘It has caused mayhem because people don’t want to come down here.
‘It affects the whole island. It’s supposed to be our busiest time of the time so we can make some money.
‘Most of us have been shut. We just closed the shops because we did not want the hassle.
‘We are not allowed to park there overnight. They have dogs out and their washing out.’
The group arrived last Friday and all caravans had left by yesterday afternoon.
Officials at Havant Borough Council, which runs Eastoke car park, said wardens initially carried out a needs assessment on the group.
A notice to leave was issued under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act.
Sara Bryan, senior lawyer at the council, added: ‘There is a traffic regulation order in place at Eastoke car park which prohibits overnight parking.
‘While it is open to Havant Borough Council to issue parking contravention notices in respect to any vehicles, this does not authorise the removal of the vehicles.
‘The decision was therefore taken to issue a Notice to Quit under the provisions of section 77 of the Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994.’
Had the travellers not left the council would have sought a court order, she added.
Hayling East councillor Leah Turner checked the site yesterday and said the bin bags provided by the council had been left in a neat pile.
She said most of the group had been paying daytime parking fees and those that did not were issued with penalty fines.
Hayling’s seafront car parks have been popular spots for illegal encampments over the years.
Three years ago the car park at the end of Chichester Avenue was the target, with one group staying for more than a fortnight.