Whitby faces motorhome dilemma

The debate on whether to impose parking restrictions on vehicles covered with motorhome insurance still continues in one of England’s most popular tourist towns.

Whitby, in North Yorkshire, is regularly voted as one of the top ten tourist towns in the UK. It is a seaside town surrounded by high cliffs and magnificent rural landscapes, it is the home of the Dracula legend and the birthplace of Captain Cook, but if many locals have their way it will never be home to campervan owners.

While local traders welcome the cash brought in by mobile home owners wanting to enjoy the many delights the town has to offer, local residents say mobile home owners stopping overnight in the town’s car parks and blocking the view on the majestic West Cliff, are nothing but a nuisance and should be banned from the town, especially overnight. The ongoing argument has produced a barrage of letters to the local paper with one resident saying: “It’s true that campervans lined up on West Cliff could annoy residents, especially if people sleep overnight there. It’s also true that there are several caravan sites around Whitby, but not necessarily within easy walking access of town, and of course costing in excess of £20 per night – quite a lot if you just need to park, rather than stay overnight. By creating parking restrictions for campervans in town, the council will effectively be driving these vans away to towns where parking is easier to find. Many campervan and motorhome owners are well-off people who contribute greatly to the tourist trade here – is the council sure it wants to alienate these people?”

The growth in mobile home usage in the UK is growing year on year and in general brings tourists to an area that are wealthy and willing to spend their cash on recreational days out. They would appear to be a welcome match for many coastal towns that struggle to bring people in and certainly can’t survive without tourists. It is evident that this is not the case in lots of places but those that do want to benefit from this new holiday may have to use initiatives that will enable both sides to enjoy what the town has to offer.