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Overnight parking to be banned at East Lothian coastal car parks

East Lothian

Overnight parking at East Lothian coastal car parks is set to be banned under new proposals.

It follows a surge in visitors since the pandemic reportedly leading to issues with fires, litter and human waste.

East Lothian Council promotes wild camping around its coastline but last summer said that most visitors did not understand what it meant and were driving to sites, turning them into “giant campsites”.

A report to the council’s cabinet next week will ask for the green light to introduce a temporary ban on vehicles staying overnight in the car parks, which will be monitored.

A report to members said that as well as concern about people travelling in cars to camp at the beauty spots, there were concerns about campervans and mobile homes which carry gas and could be a fire risk.

It said: “Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, coastal car parks in East Lothian have seen a considerable increase in the numbers of vehicles parking overnight associated with visitors camping in and near beach areas and in the car parks.

“This camping activity has caused damage to the biodiversity of this protected area by the lighting of fires and barbecues, as well as generating litter, including human waste.

“There has also been an increase in the numbers of campervans and motorhomes parking overnight at coastal car parks rather than at formal camping locations.

“The council-operated car parks do not have the facilities to support campervans or motorhomes and damage has been caused by the unlawful emptying of chemical toilets.

“In addition, when parked in close proximity, some do pose a fire risk to themselves and others due to the gas that they carry onboard.”

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Lynda Broadbent January 14, 2023 at 11:50 am

We have a nation of campervan/motorhome haters. If more consideration was given to these vehicles and owners as is the case in Europe, revenue could be generated for councils who seemingly, are always bleating about lack of funds from central govt. There will always be a minority who create problems, this is the same in society in general. Most motorhomes I know are happy and keen to spend money and time in places where they are catered for.

iain hamilton January 14, 2023 at 3:01 pm

well said Lynda.

Angela McPartlan January 14, 2023 at 3:05 pm

As responsible motorhomers with a fully self contained vehicle, I feel the council is missing an opportunity to increase the revenue of the local businesses. We always eat / drink out whilst on our travels and with a little planning and a small outlay, councils could easily make proper facilities available. I would use Hawick in the Scottish Borders as a prime example of a welcoming, forward thinking community who recognise our worth.

Ann sinclair January 15, 2023 at 8:23 am

I agree, motorhome and campervan owners get blamed. We parked in a hotel carpark, as allowed by the hotel, and ate in the restaurant. In the morning, lots of McDonald’s empty containers around carpark left by CARS. Who gets the blame? Motorhomes and campervans.

Stefan Potepa January 15, 2023 at 8:25 pm

Very well said Lynda.

Stefan Potepa January 15, 2023 at 8:35 pm

I also agree with Angela McPartlan.


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