I have a cunning plan.

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by 6pm Cowboy, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. 6pm Cowboy

    6pm Cowboy Read Only Funster

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    Maybe not original but obviously not being done.

    Question – What is Britain sadly missing ?
    Answer – Aires.

    Question – Is it worth trying to get them ?
    Answer – Probably not. The cost of laying on sewage disposal etc would put any council off.

    But that doesn’t mean we should do nothing. There are alternatives.

    Just down the road from my house in a small Oxfordshire village is a small car park ( maybe 30 cars ). It sits on the banks of the river Thames with good fishing and pleasant walks along the towpath in both directions. 200 yards away is a nice pub that does good meals A market town is only 1 hours stroll along the river. It would make an ideal stopover for touring motorhomes ( and caravans – ducking ) but there is a hieght barrier and anti sleeping notice on the car park.

    Scenes like this must be repeated all over the country. Useful / scenic / conveinient / economy boosting places that frequently sit empty overnight just because of some ‘pointless’ rule.

    Equally there must be thousands of inner/outer city car parks, park and rides, detached lay byes, etc, etc, all over the country that could be allowed / converted to suitable tourist stopovers at ZERO cost to councils or whoever.

    They would have none of the facilities of a proper campsite. They would not be considered wild camping by most people…. But they would, I suspect, be welcommed by many.

    I have retirement creeping up on me and I need something to think about, something to do, and maybe a small cost covering income otherwise, motorhome or no, I am going to vegitate into a grumpy and even more insular old man.

    So I am going to start a campaign to get some of these underutilised spaces turned into ‘authourised stopovers’ and produce a book / cd / poi for general use. It will take a while, and build up slowly but I thinnk it is a good long term project.

    Fire away folks.
     
  2. yorkshirepudding

    yorkshirepudding Read Only Funster

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    Good luck. Sounds like it will take up a lot of your impending retirement.
     
  3. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    I think you will find it is being looked at
    Graham on here has something running already:Doh:
    I may be wrong, so good luck with your campaign
    Geo
     
  4. twooks

    twooks Read Only Funster

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    GYPSIES !!
    TRAVELLERS !!

    a two word answer received from Preston Borough Council and York P+R when I raised the issue of using car parks overnight to bring / encourage tourism

    Can only stand back and admire persistence shown by people like Graham chipping away at these jobsworths

    I did hear - admittedly about 3rd hand - that CC had raised objections to P+R being used to allow over-nighting near cities, can't imagine why :RollEyes:
     
  5. zaskar

    zaskar Funster

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    ..........and the very best of British luck to you:thumb:
    Though frankly, i think a good starting point would be the purchase of a white coat and a black leather couch on castors.
    the coat is to give you that "proffesional" look.
    The castors on the couch will enable you to wheel it into every council office in the UK where you can hypnotise the beaurocratic halfwits with the words...........
    Look into my eyes, lookinto my eyes, not around the eyes, but in the eyes CLICK your under.
    OK, repeat after me............
    "motorhomers are good, hardworking decent people who KNOW how to look after the countryside. They're not EVIL!"

    Good luck mate, you'll need it!
     
  6. 6pm Cowboy

    6pm Cowboy Read Only Funster

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    Hi all.
    thanks for the quick ( if somewhat negative :Rofl1: ) responses.

    I have just spoken to Graham (GJH) , his site is doing sterling work but is listing what 'IS' rather than what I would like 'TO BE'.

    All positive (and negative) vibes welcome, as would be any advice and suggestions.
     
  7. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    My web site is aimed mainly at daytime parking - though there is a skeleton letter which could be used for approaches re Aires.

    "6pm Graham" (as opposed to this Graham) :Smile: is approaching the subject from a different angle, which is likely to be complementary and I wish it all the best.

    One comment I will make is that calling council officers "jobsworths" or "bureaucratic halfwits" is number one in the recipe for failure. I've witnessed at first hand the problems which councils have with illegal campsites and the drain which they impose on funding (including the council tax we all pay). They are bound to want to avoid such problems when considering provision of facilities. The potential problem arose when we were having discussions with Redcar & Cleveland Council regarding Guisborough - and we overcame it by being constructive.

    Motorhome parking facilities (both daytime and overnight) have increased in number over the last three years (if you don't believe me look at how my PoI set has grown). That is through the efforts of several people who have made positive approaches to councils. Absolutely nothing has come from whingers complaining about how unfair councils are.

    Graham
     
  8. 6pm Cowboy

    6pm Cowboy Read Only Funster

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    Thank you for your comments Graham. I will make a point of not heading my letters 'dear jobsworth; :Rofl1:

    A trade secret if you will..... have you found any difference between paper letters and emails ?
     
  9. twooks

    twooks Read Only Funster

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    :Blush:sorry,
    I think it's a great idea, but I think that there are too many vested interests against the prospect of people being Free to move around, stay when and where they want within reason and doing it all cheaply

    the answer would seem to be to get teh council jobsworths to talk - no make that Listen - to their opposite nubers in other countries
    The Netherlands started to introduce a scheme of Aires last time we were there, it may be instructive to know how and why.

    Next year the Tall Ships are heading for Hartlepool [ yeah I know :Doh:] plan A included a Motorhome parking area with toilet / shower block along the prom about a mile from the harbour / marina. I wrote to them a couple of months ago asking for info and update - I know there is a loo block but no mention of overnight camping in recent brochures so what happened to this woooonderful idea.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

    .. .. .. .. .. ..

    still waiting.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
  10. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    I don't send paper letters - e-mail is cheaper and quicker. Worth putting a Return Receipt flag on though so that you know it's got there as sometimes e-mails can go missing.

    When asking for information (FoI) there is absolutely no difference between paper and e-mail (though it may be necessary to provide a geographic address if information is only available in hard copy).

    For approaches to councils which do not request information there isn't the same legal requirement but they should still respond. Worth putting a "what do you think of my idea" type comment in the message though.

    Graham
     
  11. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Vested interests:
    a) What are they?
    b) Who holds them? Is it just public sector organisations?
    c) How can they be overcome - as opposed to just complaining that they are there?

    Why not get in touch with the Dutch government to ask? By e-mail to their London embassy will probably be easiest.

    Again, why not get in touch with them to ask? Contact details for FoI at Hartlepool BC Here.

    Graham
     
  12. twooks

    twooks Read Only Funster

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    PS to my [non] smoggy mate
    didn't call 'em jobsworth to their faces - honest -
    in fact I said I thought their approach was excellent and forward looking

    ..
    ..


    so, on 2nd thoughts - perhaps I frightened them off :Doh:



    'vested interests' - the ubiquitous 'they' I actually got on 1st name terms with the girl in Preston - and she did actually use the term 'more than my jobsworth' although she was laughing at the time - never got any names named tho
    can possibly be overcome by establishing opposite vested interests - something like ooh CC or C&CC :Eeek: no! perhaps not

    MHF did moot this idea once - banding together to present united front as did MMM re parking and height barriers - don't think either got very far - inertia is a powerful enemy
    no longer 'member' with either


    good idea about Netherlands :thumb:


    still waiting for Hartlepool, .. .. ..
    [also spend a lot of my time waiting for responses from their Social services too



    keep taking the tablets :clap: :hug:
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
  13. buttons

    buttons Funster

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    Great idea but you are only thinking from a Motor home owner’s perspective. Believe it or not we are a minute part of the vehicle owning population.
    I can only assume that this well maintained car park is there for a reason, you say it is a great spot plenty to see and do, sounds very nice, the sort of place that I would love to spend a summer’s day. Park the car, walk into the village spend some money, generally have a good day out. Problem is with these popular destinations you have to get there early or all the good spaces are full, end up walking miles into town. Bank holidays are the worst for getting parked, kids moaning about the walk, dad moaning about having to carry the picnic, wife getting her heals stuck in the mud.
    Excuse my cynicism but why would local councils risk upsetting the majority of the voting population just to satisfy a few rich motor home owners. Not to mention the problem that travellers would created by taking the barrier down.
    If this place is as nice as you say then I’m sure some forward thinking entrepreneur has already set up a nice site with all amenities close by. Car parks are by definition for cars and caravan sites are for caravans and motor homes simples.
     
  14. bigfoot

    bigfoot Funster

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    If I may make a suggestion. with the increasing number of all singing and dancing out of town shopping centres,which have cinema and restaurants as well as the 'new leisure' pursuit of shopping,why not aproach the owners ( who generally are not local authorities) of these locations first. They have 24 hour security and additional facilities would be minimal. Using the examples of Walmart in the States and Canada especially those sited on their retail parks. MacArthur gGen did support CC club members by offering discount vouchers for their 'shopping villages' they obviously see the tourers pound as valuable.
     
  15. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Lovely idea - no chance.

    How's that for negative !

    As I see it, you have to convince a council employee and committee. Could you go out of you way and pick a worse task. No. The employee wants a simple life and a good pension, no stress ( they get time off for that anyway ), no ripples. The counsellor wants as many expenses as he can wring from the system, glory and re-election.

    The first hint that "travellers" are going to be invited to squat in their idyllic village and the press has a field day. A residents committee headed Colonel Lionel Blimp-Hart III ( my grandfather, Lionel I, got rid of the blighters in Mafeking. No Blimp-Hart has ever failed I'll have you know ) will start a campaign to get the council employee fired, the counsellor thrown out of the masons and you frog marched out of the county.

    If you pull it off I'll be the first to send you a bottle of Champagne. And deliver it in person on you new facility.
     
  16. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Fountain Street at Guisborough, New Dover Road P&R at Canterbury, Ram Meadow at Bury St Edmunds. Just three examples of why that assertion is wrong.

    Graham
     
  17. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    Good luck with the project.:thumb:
     
  18. 6pm Cowboy

    6pm Cowboy Read Only Funster

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    Thank you Brian. I knew I could rely on you :Rofl1:

    The traveller problem is an obvious drawback and the reason I was asking about laybys. Many car parks are chargeable and I dont see the allowing of overnight sleeping privileges changing this but I take your overall point and will bare it in mind.

    I will hold you to the champaign. How many constitutes success ?
     
  19. nozzmoking

    nozzmoking Read Only Funster

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    Sounds like a monumental task, so good luck with this. :thumb:

    Re: French Aires. Does anyone know how long they've been in existance? Did they start off on a local basis and then spread nationwide, or was it a Government incentive at some stage? Just wondered about the history of Aires, and how they came into being.
     
  20. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    That's good but I could say three exceptions that prove the rule. Rings a bell, is there not a P&R at Huntindon York as well ? Chester P&R ?

    How many such opportunities in the UK ? 100,000 ?

    Good luck to our resident cowboy outfit, it would be good to be proven wrong.
     
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