Mmm Letters Page 17 (1 Viewer)

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Mar 21, 2010
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Brilliant letter in the June issue of MMM (page 17) from Keith Moore. I feel that we should use this letter to wake up local councils to the benefits of welcoming MHs to their area.

colyboy
 

Bailey58

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Is it copyright, or can we have a look? I can see another thread on subscribing to MMM coming up. :rolleyes:
 

GJH

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We called into a local W H Smiths this morning thinking we might buy MMM just this once but it was only available in a bag with some other magazine (which we didn't want) for £5.95 rather than being about 3 quid as I expected. Far too much just to check one letter :)

Is anyone going to post the benefits summary or did the letter just contain unquantified claims as they usually do?
 

Jim

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To All Local Authorities

March 2015

Dear Sir or Madam.

Motorhome parking

You may or may not be aware there could be nearly 200,000 UK-owned motorhomes on UK roads, plus many European motorhome tourists. New UK motorhome registrations are running at around 8,700 annually as at last year end. With prices now ranging from about £40,000 to £160,000 per vehicle, evidently UK motorhome manufacturers, dealers and owners are contributing a substantial amount to the UK Treasury.

The time has come for councils and authorities to acknowledge the contribution motorhome owners are making to our economy by providing suitable parking facilities.

The UK and local economy is benefiting from the spending of the owners of these vehicles and their families when they visit areas of beauty. This spending is only possible if suitable parking is provided. It is not acceptable that a motorhome can only park if it can fit into a bay designed specifically for a car.

Some bays within car parks need to be easily accessible, level and large enough to accommodate a few motorhomes up to nine metres in length and 3.5 metres high.

Parking needs to be within easy walking distance of the areas of interest or to allow the occupants to eat out or use the local shops. Sometimes, campsites are too far away to allow easy foot access into town and are therefore not usually suitable for motorhome occupants.

Most councils and authorities in Europe provide specific motorhome parking facilities in or around town centres to attract motorhome owners into their area.

There are over 10,000 of these facilities throughout the tourist areas of Europe.
Whilst I am not suggesting that UK authorities provide the same, I am suggesting that car parks which are little used at night could be put to better use for overnighting motorhomes bringing in additional income for the authority and town businesses.

The presence of a number of motorhomes in a car park may even deter or even eliminate antisocial behaviour from late night revellers who can frequent car parks late at night.

Where parking is presently permitted, there are often unnecessary restrictions. For instance, sleeping is not permitted within the vehicle but overnight parking is allowed if the vehicle is unattended. This does not take into consideration that some motorhome insurers will not cover a motorhome that has been left unattended in a public place overnight.
I am well aware of the reasoning for present rules regarding sleeping in vehicles, but I believe these rules should not apply to touring motorhomes. I understand that sleeping in cars or vans in car parks is undesirable because they are not equipped for that purpose, but the reasons which local authorities will normally highlight for prohibiting sleeping in motorhomes (a vehicle designed for that very purpose), are inappropriate or naive.

The majority of motorhome occupants are respectable people who are respectful of parking facilities and they are unlikely to deposit litter or cause any antisocial activity whilst they are sleeping, that is unless they sleepwalk at night!
Motorhomes have litter bins and toilet facilities built in.

My wife and I have owned motorhomes for 30 years. Our present motorhome is 9m long and 3.5m high (generally accepted as the maximum size for Europe). My wife and I tour extensively throughout the UK and Europe.

We and our motorhome are welcomed with open arms throughout enlightened Europe, with parking and sometimes other facilities such as drinking water and chemical toilet emptying facilities provided in or around virtually every town and many villages.

This is totally unlike at home in the UK, where motorhome owners receive very little welcome.
If the potential of the motorhome fraternity is not embraced, the local shops and businesses really are missing out on the spending power of many motorhome owners, many of whom are retired folk with money to spend.

My wife and I are, however, aware that there are some undesirable motorhome owners who set up camp when they shouldn’t, and they should be appropriately dealt with on an individual basis.

A 24-hour or 48-hour time restriction could be put in place, which can be enforced to prevent them overstaying their welcome.

I believe some authorities enforce car park rules because caravan park owners have been known to complain where overnight parking is allowed.

It is not the responsibility of any authority to protect or promote the trade of any individual caravan park or campsite businesses against the interests of individuals.

Many campsites are too far away from the town activities for motorhomers and although they are frequently used by motorhomers, they are more suited to caravan owners who have a car at their disposal.

I urge you to consider this request to provide proper parking without any overnight parking sleeping restrictions for motorhome occupants, without penalties for being larger than a car, and in areas close to where recreational facilities are available.

Thank you.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely

Keith Moore
 

Jim

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From the wording in MMM it seems the author Mr Keith Moore urges others to use this as a template so I'm sure he won't mind us sharing it here.

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Hi.
Same old gripe. Not very good at maths,but make 9 metres. 29ft 3ins in old money,(Plus room to manouver),so thats 3 car parking spaces gone,just for one unit, 3.5 metres high, rules out multi storey car parks. Easy walking distance ? ,guess there will not be one in the centre of Polperro.
I am in the lucky position of having a bus pass,so all i have to do is a bit of forward planning. There may be more support if you get the Tuggers on side,use the same arguments about if they also allocated reduced price car parking for their cars and caravans?,some of todays caravans have the same life support systems as motorhomes,so technicaly should be included, the money would come,"Rolling" in LOL.
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GJH

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From the wording in MMM it seems the author Mr Keith Moore urges others to use this as a template so I'm sure he won't mind us sharing it here.
But why has he addressed it "To All Local Authorities" rather than just those which don't provide parking?

In England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland there are just over 400 councils which have responsibility for off street parking (including a few county councils which have parking at country parks). Only 90 of those councils provide no off street parking for motorhomes and on street parking is available in those 90 council areas.

If people write to councils which do provide parking and ask why they don't then one can imagine the reaction.

As regards the overnight camping aspect of the letter, as with most it does not address any of the specific points it needs to. In addition it shows a lack of understanding of the requirement for councils to balance the overall public interest.
 

mariner

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I don't see why the local tax payers should provide special facilities just for a specific group.
There are just as many tuggers who would like overnight facilities from time to time.
What is good for one is good for all.
I would certainly raise an objection to my local taxes, being used to provide facilities to just one group, at the expense of others.

:cooler:
 

GJH

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I don't see why the local tax payers should provide special facilities just for a specific group.
There are just as many tuggers who would like overnight facilities from time to time.
What is good for one is good for all.
I would certainly raise an objection to my local taxes, being used to provide facilities to just one group, at the expense of others.

:cooler:
This is the very point. In order to expect facilities we must be able to show hat they are self-financing rather than being at the expense of anyone.

I think the point about caravanners is a bit wide of the mark. Generally speaking trailers (of any description) aren't allowed in most car parks anyway.

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mariner

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I would argue that an average car and caravan take up little more space than an average Motorhome.
Years ago caravans did not have the on board facilities of a Motorhome, but they do now and are just as self supporting.


:cooler:
 

GaryBDawson

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How many caravan ears do you know who carry enough water for self sufficiency for 48 hours, it's not what they do.

Gary
 

Stephen & Jeannie

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How many caravan ears do you know who carry enough water for self sufficiency for 48 hours, it's not what they do.

Gary[/QUOTE


I beg to differ ! I have just moved from motor home to caravan !
I carry a 25 litre water container which is adequate for 48 hours, sufficient for me to stop off at Moffat and Kyleakin on my journey to the "frozen north" !:restmycase:
 

GJH

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I beg to differ ! I have just moved from motor home to caravan !
I carry a 25 litre water container which is adequate for 48 hours, sufficient for me to stop off at Moffat and Kyleakin on my journey to the "frozen north" !:restmycase:
What about disposal though? Do you have an on-board grey tank? Most caravans won't :)
 
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In all of this we ignore the one shining example of how to do it - i.e. Canterbury. Their Aire is in a park and ride park on the outskirts of town and charges £3 per night, which includes free P&R bus into town, which run every 10 minutes. They have water and waste disposal and the place is kept clean and tidy. They even have toilets (closed at night). Motorhomes are prevented from abusing their hospitality by parking in the main car park by height barriers.

When we used it we did what we always do with Aires, i.e. put some money back into the local economy. In fact we ended up spending over £50 there by the time the wife had done some shopping and we had had something to eat.

Every town or city that has a park and ride could easily do this and pump extra cash into the economy. The various European countries consider this to be a valuable addition to their tourist trade. Why don't we?
 
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As it's washing water, bucket then down a nearby drain !
That is NOT what you should do. Doing that will be a quick way of making sure that motorhomers are not welcome. Where do you think that goes? Straight into the storm water drain and then into local watercourses. And "soapy" water is a pollutant, not to mention the grease in suspension from the washing up. It can have an detrimental effect on the flora and fauna, as well as smelling and looking awful after a while
 

scotjimland

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Every town or city that has a park and ride could easily do this and pump extra cash into the economy. The various European countries consider this to be a valuable addition to their tourist trade. Why don't we?

exactly correct Peter

At Ipswich P&R they have height barriers at one and are installing them in at the other.. effectively barring motorhomes from visiting Ipswich .. town parking is nigh on impossible for cars let alone motorhomes.. the P&R would be ideal as an aire .. or even just for day parking..

both sites have public toilets so no huge expense to install outside sanitation facilities..

if you ask why they have a height barrier they trot out the same old tired excuse that it's to prevent travelers, which may be true
but as both places are manned, opening the barrier for a motorhome would not be difficult.. as you point out, Canterbury have done it.. so why not other towns and cities?

Are height barriers installed at any of the Park and Ride sites?

Yes, a height barrier is installed at the Martlesham entrance.
This barrier measures 6 feet, 6 inches (2 metres) in height.
London Road is due to have a height barrier installed in early 2015.

Can motorhomes use the service?

Due to the height barrier at the Martlesham site, motorhomes are currently only permitted at London Road.
 
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Canterbury's answer to the "travellers" red herring is that you can't get in through the barrier until you pick up a ticket and you won't get out until you have paid. Not really rocket science is it?
 

GJH

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On the face of it using other P&R sites is easy - but is it that simple?
As pointed out beforehand, Canterbury has the USP of being on the road to Dover so has transit traffic that other P&Rs do not have. That enabled Canterbury to be designed to accommodate motorhomes with fresh water and dump points designed in, something which (because they do not have the same traffic) was not a requirement identified at other P&R sites.
Many P&R sites are locked overnight so people staying could not leave when they wish to without the arrangements being altered.
So, could the cost of providing water, dump points and ticketing/barriers like Canterbury be justified by the potential take-up?
Would there be objections to planning consent to be overcome? In tourist areas the potential economic damage to existing caravan sites may produce legitimate objections, as we have seen at Weymouth.

Having said that, I have approached a number of councils which run P&R sites and am aware that a couple are considering what they might be able to do in future.
What might bring progress is for people who live close to a particular P&R site and/or know one through having visited the area to consider what alterations would be needed at that site and the potential benefits which might accrue. They could then make a reasoned approach to the authority which runs the site rather than just a vague "it would be great if we could have this" style approach.
There is a template on my web site which I invite everyone to use as a basis for an approach rather than starting from a blank sheet of paper.

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scotjimland

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With your permission Graham, I will address your points one at a time within the quote in Red ..

On the face of it using other P&R sites is easy - but is it that simple?
As pointed out beforehand, Canterbury has the USP of being on the road to Dover so has transit traffic that other P&Rs do not have.
That enabled Canterbury to be designed to accommodate motorhomes with fresh water and dump points designed in, something which (because they do not have the same traffic) was not a requirement identified at other P&R sites.

Both the P&Rs at Ipswich are on the main tourist routes to Suffolk and further north to Norfolk and the Norfolk Broads .. A14 and A12 so plenty of tourist traffic. In fact too much at times..


Many P&R sites are locked overnight so people staying could not leave when they wish to without the arrangements being altered.
So, could the cost of providing water, dump points and ticketing/barriers like Canterbury be justified by the potential take-up?

Yes, I believe so.


Would there be objections to planning consent to be overcome? In tourist areas the potential economic damage to existing caravan sites may produce legitimate objections, as we have seen at Weymouth.

Perhaps, but objections from other private caravan sites should not stop or hinder the council from providing aires for motorhomes.. it is called free enterprise.. or market forces.

Having said that, I have approached a number of councils which run P&R sites and am aware that a couple are considering what they might be able to do in future.
What might bring progress is for people who live close to a particular P&R site and/or know one through having visited the area to consider what alterations would be needed at that site and the potential benefits which might accrue. They could then make a reasoned approach to the authority which runs the site rather than just a vague "it would be great if we could have this" style approach.

Agreed

There is a template on my web site which I invite everyone to use as a basis for an approach rather than starting from a blank sheet of paper.

But since they have already barred motorhomes from using the P&R by spending more money installing height barriers.. I doubt they will be interested in changing that decision and also providing facilities .

Thanks
 
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GJH

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With your permission Graham, I will address your points one at a time within the quote in Red ..

Thanks
Perfectly happy with that Jim. As to the individual points.
Both the P&Rs at Ipswich are on the main tourist routes to Suffolk and further north to Norfolk and the Norfolk Broads .. A14 and A12 so plenty of tourist traffic. In fact too much at times..
Yes, but that is tourist traffic, not transit traffic as at Canterbury and that is the important difference. Tourists are there to visit the area already so would stay at the P&R site in preference to other sites.

So, could the cost of providing water, dump points and ticketing/barriers like Canterbury be justified by the potential take-up?

Yes, I believe so.
We also believed so at Guisborough and we were wrong. That's one thing that convinced me that we need to be able to provide real evidence of how much people would spend (I'm sure you will recall the thread from last year when we established a great deal of variability in what people spend).

Would there be objections to planning consent to be overcome? In tourist areas the potential economic damage to existing caravan sites may produce legitimate objections, as we have seen at Weymouth.

Perhaps, but objections from other private caravan sites should not stop or hinder the council from providing aires for motorhomes.. it is called free enterprise.. or market forces.
Councils have no choice to take objections into account under planning legislation and to make decisions based on their validity. Councils are also required to make decisions which are in the public interest. If the benefits of creating an aire were outweighed by the economic damage to local businesses/employment then it would be against the public interest. Again, that is why we need real evidence of what benefits would accrue.
 
Jul 5, 2013
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On the face of it using other P&R sites is easy - but is it that simple?
As pointed out beforehand, Canterbury has the USP of being on the road to Dover so has transit traffic that other P&Rs do not have. That enabled Canterbury to be designed to accommodate motorhomes with fresh water and dump points designed in, something which (because they do not have the same traffic) was not a requirement identified at other P&R sites.
Many P&R sites are locked overnight so people staying could not leave when they wish to without the arrangements being altered.
So, could the cost of providing water, dump points and ticketing/barriers like Canterbury be justified by the potential take-up?
Would there be objections to planning consent to be overcome? In tourist areas the potential economic damage to existing caravan sites may produce legitimate objections, as we have seen at Weymouth.

Having said that, I have approached a number of councils which run P&R sites and am aware that a couple are considering what they might be able to do in future.
What might bring progress is for people who live close to a particular P&R site and/or know one through having visited the area to consider what alterations would be needed at that site and the potential benefits which might accrue. They could then make a reasoned approach to the authority which runs the site rather than just a vague "it would be great if we could have this" style approach.
There is a template on my web site which I invite everyone to use as a basis for an approach rather than starting from a blank sheet of paper.
Sorry Graham but I do not agree with some of that. I am not sure Canterbury was ever designed with motorhomes in mind rather than it being added later. The ticketing barriers are already there in many P&Rs. And water and waste should be no real problem as most P&Rs also have a toilet facility. And in Canterbury you can't get in after about 8:00pm but can get out (as long as you use your ticket and pay) at any time, again just like many other P&Rs.

And finally in reality it is not the transit traffic that is important in most cases, it is the people who want to come and visit the city. After all Canterbury is a major tourist destination in its own right, as witnessed by the crowds of them when we were there in March. If places like Oxford, York and Cambridge did what Canterbury has done I am sure they would be full, and their economy would benefit as well. But then common sense and commercial nouse have never been strong points with some local councils.
 

golly

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As it's washing water, bucket then down a nearby drain ! Failing that into another carrier !
GREY WATER ALERT !!! Naughty Naughty boy
spank.gif
 
Jul 5, 2013
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Councils have no choice to take objections into account under planning legislation and to make decisions based on their validity. Councils are also required to make decisions which are in the public interest. If the benefits of creating an aire were outweighed by the economic damage to local businesses/employment then it would be against the public interest. Again, that is why we need real evidence of what benefits would accrue.
Yes but councils can only make decisions based upon sound planning issues, otherwise the decisions can and often are reversed on appeal. And "the public interest" is only one of many things they need to think about. What they can't do is decide based solely upon somebody objecting because it may adversely affect their business.

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