Image: Google Street View.
A trial allowing campervans and motorhomes to stay overnight on council car parks has been dubbed a success, generating more than £14,000 in additional income for South Hams District Council.
The scheme, set up in June 2021 after an influx of visitors following the pandemic, includes five of district council car parks.
The five car parks in the trial are Longmarsh in Totnes, the Dartmouth park and ride, Cattlemarket, Kingsbridge, Poundwell Meadow, Modbury and Leonards Road in Ivybridge, with the Totnes site on the banks of the River Dart being the most popular.
It costs £10 to stay the night, plus additional charges for daytime parking.
Only self-contained vehicles with washing and toilet facilities are allowed to stay.
Councillor Keith Baldry said: “It’s been very successful.
“We’re not doing it to make money, we just wanted to break even but we have made a small amount of profit over the last 12 months and we’ve had a great deal of praise from users of the service.”
He added that business owners were “very happy” with the trial and the council had “no complaints from residents at all”.
He said some users of the service had complained about having to have their own toilet facilities on board, while others were keen to see the scheme expanded to include other car parks owned by the council.
He added: “We decided we wanted to encourage visitors who have properly equipped motorhomes but it also allows us to enforce stopping people who haven’t got those facilities who frankly were being very anti-social, using the hedges and so on as lavatory facilities.”
At the end of the summer, South Hams councillors will decide whether to carry on with the trial, make it permanent or even extend it to other car parks in the area.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the Van Life Matters newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest UK Van Life news, tips and advice.