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New overnight stopover opens in North Wales

Motorhome prices

The first of four new overnight ‘Arosfan’ campervan and motorhome stopover sites has been opened in Gwynedd.

The site in Criccieth offers views of the town’s 13th-century castle on a rocky headland overlooking Tremadog Bay.

Nine bays are now available at Criccieth’s Y Maes car park in Criccieth in what is the first of four pilot sites that Cyngor Gwynedd is developing in the county.

Work is nearing completion at the Glyn Arosfan site in Llanberis, and is progressing on the Cei’r Gogledd (North Quay) site in Pwllheli and the Doc Fictoria car park (former Shell site) in Caernarfon.

The local authority is also looking to develop a similar site in Meirrionydd.

They are a response to recent surges in motorhomes ownership and the problems that arise when they are parked inconsiderately.

To encourage motorhome owners to use the ‘Arosfan’ sites, the council imposed overnight parking bans on laybays on the A496 into Barmouth, on the A497 near Criccieth and the Foryd area near Caernarfon.

An online reporting service has also been launched for people to complain about illegally parked campervan and motorhomes.

Cllr Dafydd Meurig, Cyngor Gwynedd’s cabinet member for environment, said: “The opening of the first Arosfan site follows a significant amount of preparation work.

“We have seen a significant growth of people visiting Gwynedd in motorhomes in recent years, and it was clear that steps needed to be taken to try to bring the situation under control.

“The Arosfan sites offer dedicated spaces for motorhome owners to stay for periods of up to 48 hours and follow arrangements similar to those regularly seen on the continent with “Aires” sites.

“Our intention is to encourage motor vehicle visitors to stay in a town or village and to provide an element of economic benefit to the local community and having better control over the sector.”

The council also plans to develop public toilet facilities near Arosfan sites for local residents and visitors.

Grant applications have been submitted for facilities near the Criccieth and Pwllheli sites.

The Arosfan sites will accommodate up to nine motorhomes.

Each will pay £16.50 per night for a maximum of 48 hours.

The Criccieth Arosfan will include facilities for freshwater (£3 for 10 minutes), chemical waste water, recycling and general waste.

All visiting motorhomes must be fully self-contained with on-board toilet and water facilities.

Activities such as fires and barbecues will not permitted.

No tables, chairs or sun loungers are allowed outside the vehicle. Awnings, canopies or wind-breakers along with washing lines are also banned, while noise and music must be kept to a minimum.

Cllr Nia Jeffreys, deputy leader and cabinet member for economy, said: “The visitor industry is a vital part of our local economy and we are pleased that people from all over the world are coming to visit Gwynedd.

“But this should not be at the expense of local people and communities.

“By developing a Sustainable Visitor Economy Plan, we want to see our local communities benefit from the visitor industry, with proactive measures to protect our local communities, language, culture, heritage and environment from the negative impacts of the industry.

“The Arosfan project is a practical example of this in action.

“Following calls for better control of motorhome use, and discussions with campsite users and owners, the sites will provide an ideal location for use by people on travel holidays looking for a safe and responsible place to stay overnight.

“All sites are located within walking distance of key towns and destinations – we encourage consumers to make the most of nearby shops and restaurants, and transport links.”

During the daytime, motorhomes can be parked at any of Cyngor Gwynedd’s car parks – providing two pay-and-display tickets are bought if vehicles are too large for a single marked bay.

However, there are height barriers at some car parks and larger motor homes will not be able to access them. These include:

  • Llyn Bach, Porthmadog
  • Stryd Lombard, Porthmadog
  • Morannedd, Criccieth
  • Ffordd Caerdydd, Pwllheli
  • Pen y Gogledd, Abermaw (Barmouth)
  • Colwyn Banc, Beddgelert

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5 comments

Sue Mullins March 22, 2024 at 7:43 am

seems a tad expensive tbh tho good they have waste disposal point. £10-12 would be more reasonable.

Reply
Ian March 25, 2024 at 2:55 pm

Overpriced and ridiculous restrictions! I definitely wouldn’t use!

Reply
katey jane andrews March 22, 2024 at 8:44 am

don’t see the point in that if you a full timer. day trippers will love it.

Reply
Chris March 22, 2024 at 9:06 am

“Each will pay £16.50 per night for a maximum of 48 hours. Freshwater (£3 for 10 minutes), chemical waste water, recycling and general waste.

All visiting motorhomes must be fully self-contained with on-board toilet and water facilities.

Activities such as fires and barbecues will not permitted.

No tables, chairs or sun loungers are allowed outside the vehicle. Awnings, canopies or wind-breakers along with washing lines are also banned, while noise and music must be kept to a minimum.”

For £16.50 and these restrictions I can’t see why you’d bother with this, from the photos it looks like you can just sit in your Vehicle and stare out at an area of tarmac.

Reply
Martin March 22, 2024 at 12:37 pm

As a full timer I want to be respectful of the area that I’m in when I visit. However, 16 pounds for a spot with no amenities? Which I don’t need as my van is off grid? It’s too much.

I’ve traveled all round Europe and seen some great free sites in Germany/France etc with a donation which we have always been happy to contribute to.

I always want to contribute to a local economy but making me pay almost campsite prices to park when my vehicle is road legal on top of using local services is too much in my opinion and I will continue to arrive late and leave early and leave no trace.

It’s a step in right direction but considering the huge population density in the West Midlands there is still much work to be done.

Banning overnighting everywhere isn’t the best idea either as all you do is push people to more remote places and further off grid. Education and mindset changes are needed across the van community.

Maybe a yearly pass to overnight in certain spots in wales? It’s being considered in Scotland. On a Voluntary basis, I’d pay it though if it was reasonable.

Reply

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