A Morecambe resident is calling for Lancaster City Council to provide facilities within the town’s car parks for motorhome and campervan visitors, claiming too many leisure vehicle owners are using the streets as a “permanent personal car park”.
The cost of providing campervan and motorhome facilities to stay overnight in existing car parks is estimated to be more than £100,000 for provision of a toilet, shower block, fresh water supply and waste facility, plus additional annual costs.
Councillor Gina Dowding, Lancaster City Council cabinet member for planning, said: “There are 72 sites in the district where campervans are welcome to stay.
“Do we want to enter that market of competing with the private sector, or just try to direct camper vans to these existing sites?”
Susanne Smith presented a petition signed by 347 people to the council at Morecambe Town Hall last week calling for more motorhome and campervan facilities.
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She said: “A good number of these owners are disrespectful, parking their big fancy caravans there for days on end, putting very little into the local economy, enjoying views across the bay free on a regular basis.
“This is something we as residents pay a high price for in property costs, council tax and maintenance charges, and spending our pensions in the town all year round.”
She said that some motorhomes have been parked on the prom for months “using it as their own permanent personal car park”.
“There are a number of car parks with amenities close by which already have drains carrying sewerage,” she said.
“A few car parks could allow overnight parking with a set number for motorhomes, and a drain identified to allow sewerage disposal.”
Dowding said it was “a long standing problem” and that she understood Miss Smith’s “frustration”.
She added: “There will be no incentive for campervan owners to park anywhere else while there continues to be free parking on Marine Road.”
A draft Traffic Regulation Order is in place but, she said, Lancashire County Council has asked for new pay-and-display facilities elsewhere on Marine Road to recoup any costs.
“That might not be palatable to people whose businesses might be affected by the introduction of pay-and-display,” said Councillor Dowding.
While campervans and motorhomes can already park in specified Lancaster City Council car parks, sleeping in these vehicles on council car parks is not allowed.