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Bedford Borough Council looking at potential sites for overnight motorhome stopovers

Overnight stopover locations with motorhome facilities could soon be trialled in Bedford, it has emerged.

Bedford Borough Council has been considering options for visiting motorhomes and campervans for some time but the pandemic had slowed proceedings.

However a spokesperson for the council has now revealed that it is looking at potential aire locations within the borough for a trial this spring.

Matthew D’Archambaud, chief officer highways, transport and engineering at the council told the Environment and Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee last night (Thursday, January 27) that the motorhome parking project had been “stop-start” over the last 12 to 18 months due to the pandemic.

He added: “It was something that we’d hoped to be a bit further sort of along the line with.

“We are now, hopefully, and I’m desperately touching wood as I’m saying it, moving into position where people can move a bit more freely and we have moved the considerations on slightly.

“We have looked at a number of potential locations within the borough to hold a bit of a trial for one of these Aires.”

Aires are frequently seen across Europe and act as short overnight stops, generally between 24 and 48 hours.

Unlike campsites, aires do not allow visitors to set up awnings, tables and chairs and they are not bookable in advance.

Matthew added: “[It will be] where these vehicles can be parked overnight so people can leave them and obviously go and enjoy sort of local activities and local bits and pieces in and around, and they can generate quite a bit of revenue.

“We’ve settled on St Peter’s Street in the middle of the town to promote as our test location.

“We’re speaking to the National Association of Aires, and we’re coming up with a bit of a bit of a campaign, working with them to let motorhome users know that yes, across the spring they will be able to book a space in the St Peter Street car park, out of hours, and they can stay there overnight.

“Depending on the success of that trial, then potentially we might open it up to further locations in the summer.”

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3 comments

Malcolm January 28, 2022 at 4:35 pm

Dare I say that it seems like the tide is very slowly starting to turn. This is great news. Hope other council follow.

Reply
Paul Canning January 28, 2022 at 4:41 pm

Sadly that’s a rubbish location at St Peters as its in the middle of a rat run /. boy racer circuit 🙁
There’s much better sites to trial this in the town or even better use the park and ride just outside town at the Kempston end, just as good if not better than the one Canterbury Council have set up at New Dover Road in Canterbury!

Reply
Tessa Brocklehurst January 29, 2022 at 2:59 pm

Good to hear they are thinking about it. Not sure about the site though.
Aspects or Priory maybe, Robinson pool/bedford park car park.

Reply

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