Seasoned motorhome owners will know that space is often an issue when looking for somewhere to park up for the night, especially as many towns and cities have strict rules concerning motorhome parking. In general, space is becoming more and more limited due to the fact that both populations and the amount of vehicles owned in large towns and cities is increasing. So what does this mean for motorhome owners? Here, Victor Millwell investigates:
UK Caravan Parks and Campsites
Over the past few years the amount of people going on UK motorhome and caravan holidays has increased, which means the economy has benefitted from people spending more on UK tourist attractions, motorhome insurance and motorhome accessories. This has led to a number of caravan parks and campsites springing up across the UK in order to accommodate a larger amount of visitors, especially in the busy seasons. Furthermore, campsites that have been established for years are looking into expanding or improving their offerings by undergoing extensive refurbishments. Luckily, this means that the quality of caravan parks and campsites across the UK is improving, creating more space and options for motorhomers.
There are those that are not so happy about caravan parks and campsites expanding however, such as those that live in areas of natural beauty who are worried about the consequences of increased visitors. Even if motorhomes aren’t park on roads, they often take up a substantial amount of space while travelling along them, which during the busy periods could lead to a build-up of traffic. This is why local authorities need to make sure that campsites and caravan parks, as well as their surrounding areas, can handle larger amounts of visitors.
UK Roads and Towns
Even though the UK’s caravan parks and campsites are improving and expanding, it’s not all good news for motorhome owners. The state of the UK’s roads is often in the news as the severe weather we’ve experienced over the past few years has created a number of issues such as potholes. This means that motorhome owners often find it difficult to find suitable roads to park on during their journeys, as those with potholes can wreak havoc with a motorhome’s suspension. Furthermore, a number of local councils have been cracking down on parking in their constituencies as residents have been complaining about parking spaces becoming less available.
Many motorhome owners have noticed that places they have previously parked now have double lines or are restricted for use by permit holders only. This is why if you are thinking of heading off in your motorhome soon, even to a place that you have visited numerous times before, you need to double check the parking restrictions first.
Compared to the UK, a number of countries across the world are double or even triple the size, which means that space is not necessarily as much of an issue. However, we have seen a number of countries who have hosted, or are soon to be hosting, massive events such as the Winter Olympics or the Cricket World Cup struggling to accommodate the influx of visitors. In fact, there have been rumours that when Christchurch in New Zealand hosts the Cricket World Cup in February 2015 a number of visitors may have to stay in motorhomes.
As the event coincides with the area’s peak tourist season, it is expected for up to one hundred and fifty thousand people to descend on Christchurch next February. This has led to Tim Hunter, Canterbury and Christchurch Tourism chief executive, suggesting that visitors stay in Kaikoura, Hanmer Springs or Ashburton if they cannot find accommodation closer to Christchurch. Discussing the issue, he said: ‘‘We’re certainly capable of dealing with the hospitality needed for a tournament like [the cricket]. It’s the beds that is going to be a challenge.’’
When it comes to space, motorhomes can either be a help or a hindrance, depending on whether the area in question has the right amount of facilities in place. With the recent flooding it likely that a number of UK roads and campsites may no longer be suitable for motorhomes, which means that if you are planning a holiday this year you need to double check before you book.