As the North Yorkshire town of Whitby becomes the latest coastal town to consider banning motor homes from its parking areas, local businessmen question whether a ban makes sound business sense.
Following on from resorts such as Newquay in the South West, councillors in Whitby are considering whether to stop motor homes from parking in the pretty little coastal town. The decision will be taken at the next meeting of the council and comes after residents complained about the litter and nuisance caused by motor home and campervan owners who park up in the town and stay in their vehicles overnight. Residents also complain that masses of motor homes parked up on the seafront spoil the view for others and that the narrow roads of the town have led to many claims on motor home insurance policies as drivers scrape against walls and other vehicles trying to find a way through the town.
However, local businessmen fear that antagonising and banning such a large contingent of tourists is hardly the thing a coastal resort should do in such tight financial times. Motor home owner Alan Thorne wrote to a local newspaper protesting against the plans. He said the town leaders could really make the situation worse by banning motor homes as many tourists will clog up the streets of the town looking for parking as they will not know a ban is in place.
He went on to say “I can’t understand why motor home tourism is not embraced in the UK as it is in the rest of Europe. The growth in motor homing over the last few years has been huge; trying to ban it is like trying to turn the tide. It can’t be done. The difference between motor homing and caravanning is recognised and we are welcomed as an alternative and additional source of income from tourism in every other country in Europe. A few, very few forward thinking councils in the UK have seen this and welcomed us and they are reaping the rewards.”
Local shopkeepers and tourism based businesses plan to lobby councillors before the final decision is made.