Another motorhome ban looming?

Discussion in 'UK Touring' started by GJH, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    I just came across This Story about abuse of a parking facility in St Andrews.

    It appears (I think there have even been threads on here in the past) that motorhomes have been using West Sands informally in ones and twos for years but that is now threatened by people overdoing it.

    "44 mobile homes set up camp in the area, with word spreading fast through social media" smacks of some sort of organised rally by some group rather than so many simply deciding to turn up by coincidence.

    I suppose it's typical that a couple of people who have commented on the story claim that no harm is done - yes, when it is only a few vans, but they completely ignore the comment that large numbers are unsustainable in an area not designed to cope.

    If people have identified a demand for an aire/stopover why have they not approached Fife Council and/or Fife Coast and Countryside Trust to do something about it in advance? How many of those 44, I wonder, have had the gumption to realise what might happen and do something constructive rather than just taking advantage? Is it any wonder that motorhomers as a whole get a bad name when this sort of thing happens?

    The sad fact is that the likely outcome is that a height barrier will be installed and we will all have lost the chance to go somewhere as day visitors :Sad:
     
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  2. tomm2

    tomm2 Read Only Funster

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    Graham , I know that area well, as it is near the village I lived in for many years . In a lot of ways the entire region is a privilege to live in , never mind visit . That crowd of MHers turning up for a seemingly hastily put together meet were doing nothing more than satisfying their instant gratification needs . I am not for a moment condoning their actions .

    Wrong as their actions were , I hope North East Fife District Council will respond in a manner which shows they recognise it was hopefully a " one off " . IE no need for knee jerk reaction measures like barriers or other control measures . However they quite rightly must ( and probably will ) listen to the views of the local population , as a lot of businesses there depend on tourism .

    That coastal area is a world renowned tourist haven for golf , with huge levels of tourist cash pouring in to the area as their primary income. They sure as heck are not going to allow MHers to blight the area on West Sands simply to let said MHers satisfy their selfishness.To the detriment of the local population and tourists ( AND more thoughtful MHers )
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
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  3. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    >>> they should be utilising the high-quality,
    >>> purpose-built caravan and camping sites located around
    >>> the edge of the town.

    That smacks of the local mafia aka masons smarting at loss of business.
     
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  4. robnchris

    robnchris Funster

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    wild camping

    Our experience has been whilst driving around Scotland you only see a NO CAMPING or OVERNIGHT PARKING when you get close to a campsite, mmhh wonder why that is?

    St Andrews is a lovely place we stayed close by earlier this year, unforunately as always the few irresponsible idiots will ruin it for the the majority.:Doh:
     
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  5. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    I don't know if one could correctly describe a Labour councillor as "local mafia aka masons" Brian :BigGrin: However, even if it were a case of smarting at loss of business, is there actually anything wrong with that? People invest a lot of money in their businesses and, quite rightly, want to see a return on that investment.

    Also, the councillor restates the point that West Sands does not have the facilities to cope. Councils (and council tax payers) do not want to have to spend scarce resources on extra maintenance just because people abuse facilities.
     
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  6. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Pure Mafia tactics, kill off the opposition - "you deala with me or wea breaka you legs".

    This is a common feature of a lot of these "outrageous motorhome" threads, so often "causing a nuisance when there are sites nearby". In a lot of the cases I think the "sites nearby" is the driving force rather than "nuisance".
     
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  7. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    I'm not sure. I recall a case in Cornwall (Marazion?) where a caravan site owner was complaining but the overnight/general bans in Bexhill last year and Aldeburgh a couple of years ago came about because of nuisance/damage (I note that some Bexhill residents are even asking for the restriction to be extended).

    The Scarborough decision was a result of a long standing policy that the borough had sufficient sites but the case for overnighting in car parks was not helped by behaviour such as that highlighted at the foot of This Page or a club rallying in Whitby Marina car park rather than cancel the rally when their booked site was waterlogged.

    There are also plenty of sites in the Fylde area (for example) yet the actions of responsible people in presenting an argument up front for official (legal) provision has resulted in the stopover facilities at the St Annes Swimming Pool Car Park. Taking that approach may not (probably will not) succeed everywhere but I would suggest that just taking advantage, rather than doing something constructive, is highly likely to fuel the argument of those against motorhomes (vested commercial interests or not).
     
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  8. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    You know, other EU countries answer to this problem was to acknowledge the fact that Motorhome numbers were increasing and they put up No Motorhome Parking signs in lots of towns and villages, but being more open minded and realising the potential for making a few Euros to bolster the local economies, opened aires nearby and positively welcomed visitors
    It's a shame no one in the UK has the foresight to do something similar here
    Well, actually, someone has. There is an aire in Canterbury, and I think there are a few in Scotland
    Instead of building cloned retail outlets and crap, er, I mean fast food diners everywhere, with the associated tons of fast food bags and wrappers strewn around the streets, they could build aires and encourage tourism.

    Allan
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
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  9. maacracing

    maacracing Read Only Funster

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    St Andrews

    We have been using west sand for many many years kit surfing,kit buggies and latterly sand yachts.
    We take the motorhome and there all day from very early morning until very late evening, if the weather is extreme then we have some shelter etc etc.
    There has always been the odd motorhome and caravan overnight on the west sands not really a problem.
    The last time we were there we arrived at around 9am quite a few vans there and some tents but there was very cheap and nasty quad bikes using the beach in (marked designated kiting area ) and the grassed area, well that was not on I had a word and suggested the they remove them selfs.
    But not luck there so call the police, police said it was not really there problem.

    WHERE DO WE GO FROM THERE !!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  10. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Canterbury enjoys a combination of circumstances (proximity to the A2 and Dover meaning lots of transit traffic) which few, if any, other places in the UK enjoy.

    There are a few stopovers in Ireland (Northern and Republic) and a few others in England but I'm not aware of any in Scotland. The factor which they have in common is that somebody has actually taken the trouble to construct and argue a case for stopovers, rather than just camping where they feel like it. Without such a case being presented, councils (and private individuals/companies) have no idea how much extra tourism would be encouraged and whether investing in building stopovers could be economically justified. If the case were so obvious wouldn't the private sector be falling over themselves to build aires instead of/in addition to caravan sites?
     
  11. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Private land and no criminal offence being committed so action has to be taken by the landowner.
     
  12. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    OK, some of the cases.

    And I do fully appreciate that there are anti-social tossers driving MHs.

    And cars, and bikes and horses, definitely horses, they crap all over the road.

    Have you ever seen a horse rider "pick up"

    Ban horses.
     
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  13. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    Only aware of one in England (Canterbury), two in Scotland, (one in Hawick, the other in Cruden Bay near Peterhead), and, as you say, NI, where I think there are 4.
    I doubt the private sector would be interested as there isn't enough profit, this is something the local authorities or Parish Councils should be doing, after all, they are the ones erecting the No Motorcaravans / No overnight Parking / No caravans signs, so they must be aware of the "problem"
    Allan
     
  14. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    But why? If there isn't enough profit for the private sector then any public sector provision runs the risk of being a drain on the taxpayer.

    The "problem" which is apparent is that people are camping where it is illegal and/or causing a nuisance to residents and/or other visitors.

    Local authorities aren't going to say to their electorates "we're going to create stopovers so motorhomers can have free camping at your expense". They will only make provision if they have evidence that they will at least break even - and if those who say they want stopovers can't/won't provide that evidence then the implication is that it doesn't exist.
     
  15. dshague

    dshague Funster

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    another one here taken off a motorhome forum .... end of wild camping on Lincolnshire Coast A height barrier at Huttoft Car Terrace between Anderby Creek and Sandilands will be closed overnight on Monday, September 23rd 2013. The car terrace pretty much allows you to park on the beach .Lincolnshire County Council is using the height barrier to complete a bid to stop overnight camping in its coastal car parks.

    The council has already installed height barriers at Marsh Yard, Anderby Creek, Chapel Six Marshes and Wolla Bank which prevent camper vans or motor homes from entering the car parks .It follows many years of complaints about litter and the condition of toilet facilities at Huttoft Car Terrace, Marsh Yard, Moggs Eye, Anderby Creek, Wolla Bank and Chapel Six Marshes.

    Executive member for the environment Councillor Colin Davie said: “Our car parks are a place day visitors can leave their vehicle when they come to enjoy the spectacular views of the Lincolnshire coastline. Lincolnshire County Council does not allow overnight camping in its car parks
     

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  16. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    This is exactly what the French and many other councils have done. They ban motorhome parking within their towns or villages and provide an aire or stopover point specifically for these motorhomes to use so they dont clog up the roads within the towns. These aires have service points to empty waste and take on water ( some even provide electricity).
    Of course, not all aires are free and all service points take coins or tokens.
    A couple of weeks ago we were at Le Crotoy. A small town that has 2 aires. One holds 100 vehicles, the other about 30. These aires charge €5 per 24 hours with a €2 service point charge. If these aires are full ( and they generally are for about 8 months of the year, the town is making over €900 a day. Plus, all these visitors use the town for shopping, eating and drinking.

    A pretty respectable sum of money every year for very little outlay.
    Its not a case of people wanting stopovers so much as a few forward thinking people jumping on the motorhome bandwagon and realising there is money to be made, not just with parking fees but all local traders benefit.

    I often wonder what foreign motorhomers think when they come to the UK. Everything overpriced, nowhere to park and very little tolerance of foreign vehicles and drivers.

    Allan
     
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  17. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    if they are full for 8 months of the year you must have found the only ones . more like 8 weeks of the year. coastal ones possibly get more use . but the majority are not even half full for most of the year.
    its a totally different way of thinking over there . many supermarkets let you stop on their car parks . ideally so you get nice fresh warm bread etc .
    all we can do is write to the councils and put to them the french way of thinking . there as been other attempts at m,home parking but it failed in uk .
    if every one writes in to these councils it may make a difference .
    always worth a try . the spanish m,home clubs did it and it seems to have geed a few of their towns to open aires .
     
  18. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Great. All it now needs is for somebody to take that evidence and present it to councils (or private enterprise seeing as there is so much money involved) in this country to persuade them to invest.

    Will that happen? Of course not - because nobody will actually bother to do it.

    Why? Even ignoring Alan's point about 8 weeks as opposed to 8 months, there are a lot more people passing backwards and forward through France to and from other European countries than could possibly be the case in the UK. Why would anyone visit a village of less than 2.5k population apart from passing through? The reality is that there are a heck of a lot of differences between mainland Europe and the UK, not because of anyone's awkwardness but simply because of geography.

    I would love for somebody to prove me wrong but I won't hold my breath.

    I see that L
     
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  19. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    If they had an aire then people would stop, because there is somewhere to stop, these people would spend their money, a bit like the thinking behind the Brit Stops and French Passion sites

    I guess people won't write to their local councils, we already have an aire at Canterbury, and there's little point having a few dozen MHers writing to the councils in places they intend to visit in the hope of getting an aire built before they arrive
    This would have to done on a national level. A suitably worded letter to be sent to all councils ( except Canterbury and the towns in Scotland and NI with aires already) on behalf of all motorhomers who wish to see aires established in UK towns.
    Perhaps it would be an idea to contact the Councils that already have aires to see what their thinking was behind providing one and how they are benefitting the towns.
    I don't have the answers.
    Allan
     
  20. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Sorry Allan but "a" suitably worded letter won't cut the mustard. All of the approximately 400 local authorities which have the capability to create stopovers under exemption 11 of the First Schedule to the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 have their own unique circumstances - thus, in theory, you need about 400 letters, not one.

    In reality, of course, the number isn't that high. Places like (off the top of my head) Accrington, Barnsley & Slough, for instance probably aren't near the top of the list of must visit places for most motorhomers.

    Those places that are popular probably already have a significant number of visitors. It is those people (or at least some of them) who need to take the initiative to work with councils if they want to see official stopovers rather than just free camping spots to be taken on an ad hoc basis which creates the risk of bans.
     
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