Overnight Parking in Dover

Pilote87

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GJH

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Really, how do you work that out they have just closed somewhere for us to park and we should be thankful to the council for not putting a blanket ban in
I have just been to France for the first time, what a massive difference in attitude to M/H everywhere u go there are facities to use.
People/councils are very welcoming to us and been absoult pleasure to come here, unlike the councils back home

You right GJH does do a lot of hard work for us but even he must feel like he's swimming uphill with our lot
Bet you any money they don't find an alternative in IMO there full of shit treating us all like tinkers
As has been posted time and time again, that's because of the different historical development of caravan and motorhome use between here and the continent plus the geographical differences.

Yes, I do feel like I'm swimming uphill sometimes. The reason? Plenty of people are quick to complain but very few will actually put in the effort to make positive approaches to councils providing them with a sound case for spending (their taxpayers') money on facilities for relatively few people.

As John mentioned, Colin Perris is very helpful, I always mention Canterbury in approaches to other authorities. As stated previously, though, Canterbury enjoys a geographic position which few British towns and cities share.

If anyone does want to put some effort in I have set set up a letter template Here which anyone is welcome to use as a starter.
 

magicsurfbus

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Perhaps far better than us pleading individually with English councils about how they might make money, wouldn't it be more effective to point them at examples of French councils who definitely have made money? That would presumably involve someone with a good knowledge of the French language and system finding the necessary evidence.

Maybe we Funsters and other MH industry stakeholders should club together and subsidise a Phd study on the economic multiplier effect of aires de service in France.
 

GJH

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Perhaps far better than us pleading individually with English councils about how they might make money, wouldn't it be more effective to point them at examples of French councils who definitely have made money? That would presumably involve someone with a good knowledge of the French language and system finding the necessary evidence.

Maybe we Funsters and other MH industry stakeholders should club together and subsidise a Phd study on the economic multiplier effect of aires de service in France.
That might work if somebody could find a French council which was roughly equivalent to an English council. Is that likely though? As I understand it, other than large cities French communes are more equivalent to UK parish councils rather than district councils which encompass several towns and villages.

As regards evidence, we each of us know what we spend and the areas we like to go to (and where we would like to see stopovers) without the need for a lot of extra research. Using that knowledge is a simpler proposition isn't it?
 

Bertie Bassett

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Really, how do you work that out they have just closed somewhere for us to park and we should be thankful to the council for not putting a blanket ban in
I have just been to France for the first time, what a massive difference in attitude to M/H everywhere u go there are facities to use.
People/councils are very welcoming to us and been absoult pleasure to come here, unlike the councils back home
You right GJH does do a lot of hard work for us but even he must feel like he's swimming uphill with our lot
Bet you any money they don't find an alternative in IMO there full of shit treating us all like tinkers

Whatever you say.
 

Gorse Hill

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As has been posted time and time again, that's because of the different historical development of caravan and motorhome use between here and the continent plus the geographical differences.

Yes, I do feel like I'm swimming uphill sometimes. The reason? Plenty of people are quick to complain but very few will actually put in the effort to make positive approaches to councils providing them with a sound case for spending (their taxpayers') money on facilities for relatively few people.

As John mentioned, Colin Perris is very helpful, I always mention Canterbury in approaches to other authorities. As stated previously, though, Canterbury enjoys a geographic position which few British towns and cities share.

If anyone does want to put some effort in I have set set up a letter template Here which anyone is welcome to use as a starter.
Graham we do appreciate what you do, however why do we have to go cap in hand all the time to councils (that are paid for by you and me) to provide parking facilities with water and
disposal when having travelled throu France and found the above at lots of places including small villages /towns in the middle of no where with no obvious signs of industry in sight yet the council/parish are financially able to provide and not only that keep them in a clean condition
I find it difficult to believe that in a more wealthy country such as ours we are unable to do the same yet can find the money to send aboard to countries like India in aid or provide interpreters at local social security offices to name but a few
You say relatively few, but over 250,000 seems a quite a few to me many of who have/are paying taxes and have been for many years am not sure it's down to cost more like attitude of councils towards M/H
Am pretty sure having spoken to a number of fellow M/H here in France many would visit the uk if only we could provide adequate facilities for them to use like France/Germany who by the way are very similar to us geographically/historically yet they are able to provide the facilities
 

magicsurfbus

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As regards evidence, we each of us know what we spend and the areas we like to go to (and where we would like to see stopovers) without the need for a lot of extra research. Using that knowledge is a simpler proposition isn't it?
OK, so you, me, and various others each write to (say) Dover council in our best joined-up writing to tell them "If you provide low cost overnight parking for Motorhomes, we promise we'll spend around £x in your community every time we stay". How many of us will have to write to them before they stop thinking "Yeah yeah they would say that wouldn't they."? 10? 100? 1000? More?

On the other hand, MH industry stakeholders approach a prestigious University and commission a thoroughly-executed postgraduate academic research project into the actual recorded economic impact of low cost MH parking in a variety of French communities. The results are published in report format with lots of graphs, tables, charts, and conclusions, and distributed to the parking management teams of every council in the UK for their comments and reactions.

I have a huge regard for what you do GJH, it's real labour of love, but I think we'd need to mobilise bigger guns than just MH owners before anyone in local government will pay any attention. My own local authority not only provides overnight parking for MHs, they also have a new mantra of 'growth and prosperity' - that's the corporate mentality we need to be playing on. It's high time the people who make, sell and service motorhomes in the UK get wise to the fact that more MHs of any nationality on our country's roads is good news for their industry and profits, and get out and do their bit. A delegation of a dozen 'industry' people in suits armed with a well-written report would get far more attention than a rag tag army of middle-aged MH owners in fleecies and cargo trousers.
 

GJH

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Graham we do appreciate what you do, however why do we have to go cap in hand all the time to councils (that are paid for by you and me) to provide parking facilities with water and
disposal when having travelled throu France and found the above at lots of places including small villages /towns in the middle of no where with no obvious signs of industry in sight yet the council/parish are financially able to provide and not only that keep them in a clean condition
I find it difficult to believe that in a more wealthy country such as ours we are unable to do the same yet can find the money to send aboard to countries like India in aid or provide interpreters at local social security offices to name but a few
You say relatively few, but over 250,000 seems a quite a few to me many of who have/are paying taxes and have been for many years am not sure it's down to cost more like attitude of councils towards M/H
Am pretty sure having spoken to a number of fellow M/H here in France many would visit the uk if only we could provide adequate facilities for them to use like France/Germany who by the way are very similar to us geographically/historically yet they are able to provide the facilities
It isn't going cap in hand. It is going saying "We want facilities for a maximum of 250,000 people out of 65 million" - that is 0.4% of the population, very few in relative terms.

Spending on things like overseas development has nothing to do with it. Such policies are national political decisions whilst spending on stopovers are local decisions, from the point of view of national government (of whatever party) the legislation is already in place. We will only achieve change if we show local politicians that it is worth spending local taxpayers' on stopovers. Simply saying "France has got it so we want it" carries no weight at all.

What is this "attitude of councils towards M/H"? The vast majority of councils (and I've been in touch with all of them several times) are constructive towards motorhomes, within the bounds of the overall demands placed upon them. The fact is that they have to balance competing demands and the demands of motorhomers for stopovers are, in the case of many councils, virtually nil. We will only change that by making a positive case.
 

GJH

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It's high time the people who make, sell and service motorhomes in the UK get wise to the fact that more MHs of any nationality on our country's roads is good news for their industry and profits, and get out and do their bit.
So why haven't they done so? The answer has to be that they don't see the value of spending their resources on the effort.

We will never achieve anything if we leave it so somebody else to do the job. That is just passing the buck. Those local authorities which do provide stopovers have been persuaded to do so by individuals getting off their backsides and doing something about it instead of leaving it to somebody else. Further stopovers will not be achieved unless that action is taken in other areas.
 

GJH

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I've just made two posts saying, in effect, that unless people get off their backsides and make a positive case to local authorities then we can kiss goodbye to further stopovers being created. I think I'm right but I'll be very happy to be proved wrong. So, if anyone can show that any positive progress has been made towards creating a new stopover by any other means in, say, the next 6 months then let's see it posted.
 

GJH

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Interesting that the report (para 11) says
It is important to note that motor caravans are self-contained units and campers tend to use them for all their daily living needs. Therefore, apart from entrance fees and light refreshments, it is unlikely that they contribute as much to the local economy as those visitors to the area who use local accommodation or who are on a day-trip.
That contradicts the argument that we boost the local economy where we stay. Yes, some of us do, on some occasions, but I'm sure we all know that our spending is variable depending on circumstances. In the case of Dover, where (as pointed out in some posts) people are only stopping for a sleep before/after a ferry trip, it is likely that the council's impression is accurate.
That is another good indication of the need to provide positive cost/benefit evidence to achieve change.
 
D

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Also Para 2 Evaluation of Options Available to the Council
item (iv)
To examine any other alternative proposal made by the Dover JTB.
and Para 13
In considering any proposals, Councillors will need to be mindful as to where motor caravans will be able to park should any form of ban be introduced. Additionally, Dover is a port town offering a ferry service enabling easy access to the continent, not only for business but also for holiday makers and we need to be seen to encourage such traffic rather than hinder it.
Suggest that they are well aware of the issues and not looking to ban MHs from Dover completely however they will always put the concerns of their residents and businesses first. If all of our own local authorities starting spending taxpayers money on provision of services for, it has to be said, a small minority of visitors to their town there would be uproar. As Graham says if we want stopovers we need to demonstrate that it would be an economic boost to the area, or at worst revenue neutral. Making demands or criticising their attitude to us or being otherwise negative isn't going to do it. There is no obligation on any council to provide free parking for anyone never mind motorhomes so pretending we have a divine right to park anywhere we want is not going to help anyone.
 

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By living in France and experiencing living in a small commune that contributes towards a beautiful free aire in a village called Quarre Les Tombes I can help to explain where the funds come from. The village itself has a council of around a dozen members that are elected bu the residents, this village then belongs to a large group of communes who basically make any decisions regarding finances.
In order to promote the area large subsidies are given from the goverment which pay for things such as the installation of an Aire. The running costs are then covered in this instance by the commune.
There are 3 or 4 restaurants in this village and a few small commerce that basically wouldn't exist if tourism wasn't promoted which differs completely to the revenu that would be earned in a town like Dover, but then again isn't Dover just a stop off point.
I must say that in my commune out of the 12 councillors, 4 are camping carists!!! Which does help(y)
 
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