Header image

Motorhome parking Fresh aire Two local authorities that are opening up car parks for overnight motorhome use tell Louise Parfitt why they feel there is need for it, how they selected the sites, and what other measures they have put in place ast year, we ran two trial aire de service sites for overnight motorhome parking in South Ayrshire, to see what the uptake would be and how it would work. Barrie McDonnell is team leader parking at Ayrshire Roads Alliance. It was really successful, so now we are looking at making those two sites permanent and running trials at three other sites this summer. Like many areas blessed with spectacular scenery, beautiful beaches or places of historic interest, South Ayrshire has welcomed more and more tourists in recent years. McDonnell says they were seeing an increase in the number of motorhomes even before the pandemic caused the boom in UK-based holidays. The two initial South Ayrshire trial sites known as aires were chosen based on demand: they were already being used by motorhomes and there had been some complaints from residents about access to, and availability in, those car parks. During the trial, overnight stays were only permitted for one night at a cost of 5, and numbers were limited to 15 motorhomes. Temporary on-street traffic orders were also put in place on L surrounding streets to deal with overspill motorhome parking that was becoming an issue. Our elected representatives and residents are keen to see us promote facilities that encourage tourism, because they see the benefits it brings. Now, motorhome users feel accommodated, we are getting revenue to help improve the facilities we can offer, and the parking is managed, so it doesnt become a free for all, McDonnell explains. Grey area Indeed, according to the Campaign for Real Aires (CAMpRA) motorhome users do not want a free for all: We want a designated place to park overnight and we are more than willing to pay, say Steve Haywood and Carolyn Mitchell, members of CAMpRAs senior leadership team. I spoke to CAMpRA last year*, following meetings it had with the BPA. Members of the BPA had expressed concerns to BPA staff about managing the growing number of tourists, which included people in motorhomes. They wanted advice on the requirements for provision of overnight parking for motorhomes, and whether, in fact, they were legally allowed to provide it. 22 britishparking.co.uk PN Apr 2022 pp22-25 Motorhome parking.indd 22 24/03/2022 10:59