A MAN was left furious after coming back from holiday to find his Ford vandalised and tyres destroyed.
Ian Turner, 58, from Peterborough, had just flown back from France after a holiday with his teenage daughter.
But he was gutted to discover that his Ford Sierra, parked on the main road in Takeley, Essex, had been targeted by vandals with two tyres destroyed.
It comes after a spate of vandalism in the area has seen angry vigilantes painting yellow lines over cars left for days in a growing dispute.
Takeley is in the shadow of Stansted Airport which handles more than 30 million passengers a year.
Ian now claims that he will have to get his car scrapped thanks to the extent of the damage.
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He exclusively told The Sun: "It’s sheer vandalism. My car was perfectly legally parked and in no-one’s way – there were no white lines or restrictions.
"And there are not even any advisory signs either so there was absolutely no reason why I shouldn’t have left my car there.
“The paintwork has been so damaged the whole car needs a respray – and it may not be worth it so it will be a write-off.”
Cops were called to the sleepy village last week after reports that a row of parked cars in the main street had been vandalised.
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Police found that at least six had been daubed with yellow paint, several had wing mirrors damaged and at least two had their tyres punctured.
The vigilantes have blasted holidaygoers who don’t want to pay airport parking for invading surrounding communities, blocking roads and posing traffic dangers.
One car – a £55,000 black Audi Q4 – had all four tyres punctured and replacing them will cost around £1,200.
But more expensive to repair still could be the paintwork – the price of just cleaning it will cost £1,500 but if it needs a complete respray the bill will be £15,000.
It's sheer vandalism.The paintwork has been so damaged the whole car needs a respray – it may not be worth it so it will be a write-off.”
Villagers are wondering who the culprits are but the attacks come after several years of rows and growing discontent over passengers.
With airport fees starting at around £140 a week it seems many holidaymakers are determined to dodge the official car parks.
One traveller at the airport said: “It’s ridiculous – I buy air tickets to get me across Europe for a tenner but have to pay £20 a day to leave my car at the airport.
“Of course I am going to find a cheaper alternative – parking legally in a village nearby and getting the bus to the airport is simple – and a lot cheaper.”
In last week’s attacks in Takeley, notices were stuck on car windows stating: "This vehicle has been targeted for action by the Takeley Anti-Airport Parkers Group.”
Essex Police left an official note under the windscreen wipers on cars attacked – “Hello we are aware of he damage to your vehicle. Please call us on 101 quoting the incident number.” it asked owners.
At Takeley’s only pub The Four Ashes, manageress Taylar Cotter, 23, said: "It’s an on-going problem for everyone here – and people are fed up with it.
“We had to up large signs in the pub car park because people were just using a free spot to leave their cars while they went away on holiday.”
One villager, who did not want to be identified, said: "A lot of people know who is behind these attacks on cars. And they share the frustration because nothing seems to have been done.
"We have had lots of promises but the fact remains that as things stand people can abandon their cars all over the village without any comeback.
“And when they park on the path it makes it difficult for old people and mums with prams and push-chairs. I can understand how the frustration has boiled over into direct action.”
Takeley council clerk Jackie Deane said: "There are currently very few parking restrictions and people using Stansted are taking advantage of that.
“They just leave their cars here for a week or longer and get a cab or bus to the airport.
"But these cars are a real hazard and we urgently need parking restrictions. Residents permits may be one way to solve the issue.
“Part of the problem is the off-site parking firms who set up and offer to collect your car, store it safely while you are away and then deliver it back to the airport.
“But they are not fussy where they leave them – and places like Takeley just five minutes away has become a dumping ground for these vehicles.
“People here are fed up and it seems some of them are taking direct action – we had one car that was completely wrapped in cling film. We don’t encourage that but something has to be done.”
Community support police officer Mike O’Donnell-Smith said: "We need a long-term solution and we need it soon.
“A young boy was hit by a car in the street last where these cars were left and it was the last straw – I know how angry and concerned residents are about the potential dangers."
Essex police acting inspector Kevin Mayle said: ”We believe that these incidents relate to on-going issues regarding vehicles being parked where they shouldn’t be by those going to Stansted Airport.
"While we appreciate that this is incredibly frustrating for those living close to the airport we ask the public to report parking issues on Uttlesford District Council’s website – and not take action yourselves.
“We are also asking those visiting the airport to use the available parking and do not illegally park on the surrounding roads.”
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A spokesman for the airport said: "There is a claim that the cars have been parked there by an illegal meet and greet car park operator so the owners would have paid a fee but not for a secure, official on-site car park.
"The airport has worked extremely closely with the local district council authorities, parish councils, the Stansted Area Transport Forum and the airport consultative committee for many years on issues relating to potential fly parking-vehicle related issues in the local area.”
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