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Caravans preventing motorhomes from using stopover bays in Helensburgh

Visitors to Helensburgh, Scotland are being denied use of campervan and motorhome bays by caravans that have ‘taken up residence’, it has been claimed.

A visitor to the area contacted the Local Democracy Reporting Service after being unable to use Kidston Park’s designated campervan and motorhome parking spaces, The Lochside Press reports.

An Argyll and Bute Council spokesperson said that contact had been made with the families involved in the Kidston Park situation.

The visitor said: “Having travelled through, we were unable to make use of designated bays, due to caravans being parked up.

“Talking to a local, it appears these caravans were previously sited on the grass within the park.

“After several weeks, they have now taken permanent residency of the motorhome bays.

“I had sent an email over a fortnight ago to the local council, as yet I have had no response.

“There are now three caravans, a van and three SUV vehicles parked up across eight parking bays.”

The council has produced an online map showing sites for caravans and motorhomes, but no places in the Helensburgh area are included.

However, Kidston Park is listed on Search for Sites with a four-star listing.

In 2020 the council appealed to motorhome, campervan and caravan owners to only use official sites, saying this would help support the local economy as well as protecting health.

That policy was then dropped however, and last year landowners, businesses and communities were encouraged to sign up to a new scheme to provide overnight parking for motorhomes and campervans.

The visitor added: “The abuse of these facilities normally mean they are removed.

“Unfortunately it’s motorhome users, who abide by the strict rules who lose out.

“This situation is similar to the one I experienced at Ardentinny Beach.

“Forestry and Land Scotland operate a Stay The Night initiative for motorhomes to park up and pay to stay the night.

“Sadly it was overrun with cars, and wild campers in tents who actually pitched up on our plot and refused to vacate when politely asked to do so.

“I can only imagine that come October, this scheme will close and not be renewed next year.”

A council spokesperson said: “We are aware of the current situation at Kidston Park and are engaging with the families involved.”

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1 comment

Paul Simpson August 25, 2023 at 10:16 am

Caravans blocking ‘ Dedicated Campervan /Motorhome parking bays’ in Helensborough, Scotland is not good news for the local economy & tourism. Campervan & Motorhome owners will just give the area a bye ball. Council need to take actions against these travelling communities, who just park up where they like, without regard for the locals and their environment.

Whilst the owners of Dornoch Caravan and Camping Site, Darren & Lynn Redfern, petition sounds great on paper., they are basically asking the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to impose a ‘Blanked Ban’ on Campervan & Motorhome owners from parking anywhere, except in an a designated camp site or regulated locations, like Aires..
There is some acceptance of their views, in as much as the Scottish Outdoor Access code does not apply to ‘Motorised vehicles’, and Motorhomes must get the permission of the landowner before parking up for the night. (which takes away from the experience of ‘Wild Camping’. Wild Camping is acceptable, IF, permission has been obtained, and the majority of owners are decent and will clean up after themselves, (And others), even though we all get tarred with the same disgust, when ‘people, not always motorhome owners leave their rubbish behind.
This site has 120 pitches ( Grass Only), on 25 acres. Their tariffs are reasonable: £29.50 for up to 4people with EHU or £22.50 without. Reduced rates for single occupancy; £24.50 & £17.50 respective. They also allow Service Point only access for £11, (in season).
CAMpRA approached them last year, after they opened, enquiring if they would consider operating as an Aire, during their closed season. But they appear to have a bee in their bonnet and wouldn’t listen.

In a perverse way, they are actually supporting CAMpRA’s campaign, to promote authorised overnight parking and waste points and get more and more council’s support for these. by they petition.

Not all Campervan / Motorhome owners stop touring at the end of ‘the season’, a majority continue touring in the winter season, and would appreciate more campsites opening their waste & fresh water facilities during this period (October – March). There are only 62 such campsites listed across GB on Search for Sites.co.uk

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