Coastal area bans nuisance motorhomes

Fines and penalties lay ahead for overnight campers at the coast

By William Coleman

During a time where a UK-based holiday is one of the few options that many people feel comfortable taking, one seaside town has imposed a ban on visiting motorhomes that are seen as a nuisance.

The UK leisure industry has seen a lot of ups and downs this year, with many sites losing trade and dealerships having to adapt to a little to no contact sales approach, so now is not a good time for restrictions, bans or fines for motorhomes.

Following an already tough time, a campaign by some residents who live near The Beach in Walmer, Kent, has been successful in banning motorhome overnight visits.

The petition has seen to it that motorhomes and other touring vehicles will not be able to pitch up between 6 pm to 6 am. Signs have now been put up in the areas where this new ruling is being enforced.

The campaign, which was taken to the Kent County Council’s highway department, was started by former parish councillor Dr Alan Bailey.

Dr Bailey and other residents put together evidence, along with photographs, of camper vans and motorhomes pitched up along The Beach and have stated that they are causing issues all along this particular stretch of road.

Dr Bailey said: “It has been a long battle with several setbacks, but working with other people like district and county councillor Derek Murphy, we managed to carry on.

“Finally after jumping over interminable hurdles we’ve finally got to the finishing post.

“This is the result of a community effort and last Sunday, watching the bloke put the post up was rewarding.”

It seems that these actions have not been a flash in the pan idea, but are the result of a build-up of many issues spanning well over five years.

During this time, residents claim there have been incidents where foul water has been dumped directly into drains, anti-social behaviour, littering and noisy generators.

Fines have been issued for fly-tipping and there have even been fires due to certain visitors. Despite the fines, there are still many who stay overnight, leave a mess and face zero consequence.

With so many touring holidaymakers out there who follow the rules and leave destinations as they found them, it is a shame that a few can have such a negative impact and tarnish tourist hotspots. Now that this petition has made stopping here overnight a fineable act, where will tourists go?

Speaking to Kent Online, motorhome owner Sarah Hope said: “With councils banning overnight parking in their car parks it means people like myself have to find somewhere else to park.

“My suggestion is to ask councils to consider creating an area of some of their car parks for the specific use of motorhomes to park overnight. French call them Aires de Camping car. This would give a safe area for motorhomers to park.

“The majority of us are respectful to residents. There are a number of us that will collect litter, and most of us eat, drink and shop locally to help communities.”