Comments for Stuart's Blog for bikers and motorhomers Thu, 15 May 2014 07:11:51 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on Nightstop Thoughts – by Ian Biggar and Sue Stanley by Ian and Sue Thu, 15 May 2014 07:11:51 +0000 If you were left wondering why it is SO DIFFICULT to get local authorities to consider Motorhome parking, below is the proof that until national government gets involved, little will change. The news clipping is from the Falmouth Packet in Cornwall; the gist of it is that travellers have taken over a public car park for eight years and cannot be shifted because the county council has a “DUTY OF CARE” to the travellers!

The parish council is scratching around for a loophole in the law to enable them to evict the travellers – who are not exactly travelling; more accurately, they are squatting. Unless the relevant laws are revised so that the traveller’s lawyers cannot bend them to their will, we will be whistling for a long, long time to get dedicated Motorhome parking, let alone overnight provision.

(Traveller vehicles that have blighted a beauty spot car park for eight years could be moved on within 28 days if a legal loophole is proven.

St Keverne Parish Council is looking into whether it would be able to evict the travellers from Coverack’s North Corner car park, if it became tenants.

Cornwall Council, which owns the land, is unable to do so because it has a duty of care to the travellers – but a question mark hangs over whether the same would be true of the parish.

Councillor Anthony Richards said: “Can we find out the legal situation as to us being tenants and evicting them ourselves?

“Just because Cornwall Council has a legal obligation to find sites, if we did lease it, it might be a different story.”

After hearing the parish’s county representative Walter Sanger was looking into this he added: “I would like for us to find out ourselves – is there another avenue we could explore?”

Clerk Mrs Hatton said she was asking Cornwall Council’s solicitor whether the parish had the same duty of care to the travellers as the unitary authority, but had yet to hear back.

If it didn’t, the travellers could potentially be evicted within 28 days.

Members heard that Cornwall Council had money for a dedicated traveller site, but it had to be spent by April 2015.

The parish council had been asked by a resident living behind the car park to “put pressure” on Cornwall Council to get the money spent, before it was withdrawn next April.

Clerk Grace Hatton said the unitary authority was meant to have different sites in mind, but it had yet to announce the locations.

Chairman Roger Combe reminded members that the parish was supposed to have received a report from Cornwall Council last October saying what was being done about identifying replacement sites and moving the travellers.

Councillor Bill Frisken said: “I think we want to put pressure on them, even if just to say we understand there’s money available until next year.”

He described the top section of the car park, which is in three levels, as now “absolutely chock-a-block” with mobile homes, claiming: “They’re not mobile homes, they’re not travellers – they don’t travel.”

Mr Frisken added: “There are so many mobile homes on the top part of the car park the travellers are having to park their vehicles – the ones that actually move – down on the next stage, taking up even more room in the car park.

“The people in the parish are just getting heartily fed up with it.”

Councillors agreed to write a letter pushing the county’s legal team for an answer, with Mr Frisken pointing out: If we asked the legal department at Cornwall Council about this then they jolly well ought to answer. That’s what they’re paid for!”

The travellers have been living on the car park since August 2006.)

Comment on Nightstop Thoughts – by Ian Biggar and Sue Stanley by Stuart Fri, 28 Mar 2014 14:22:47 +0000 You write very powerfully Ian/Sue and it all makes sense to me. I have no illusions about CC’s willingness or capacity to take up this opportunity but at least they are being given the “heads up” and I have been encouraged by the direct contact I established with Natasha McDonald, CC’s Head of Future Products.

And as it happens they have woken up to the sorry design of their motorhome service points and they are now planning to redesign and improve them – so there is hope.

If the caravan Club decide to get involved they would have the advantage of being able to bring a bit of weight and experience to the situation and I hope they will. But as one contributor to the discussion on CC’s Club Together pointed out, it will happen sooner or later and if they don’t pick up on it someone else will.

Comment on UK Nightstops for Motorhomes – The Practicalities by Bolero Boy (Chris) Wed, 12 Mar 2014 19:40:45 +0000 This one i think it was…

Comment on UK Nightstops for Motorhomes – The Practicalities by Stuart Wed, 12 Mar 2014 10:01:33 +0000 Sounds interesting – don’t think I have seen it. Seen The Motor Caravan Touring Organisation website at:

Comment on UK Nightstops for Motorhomes – The Practicalities by Bolero Boy (Chris) Wed, 12 Mar 2014 08:43:16 +0000 Just had another look at the UKNightstops website, there is a lot of info there and one of their aims is to promote the cause of the MH community and work with others to set up aires etc.
I was wondering if, with all their knowledge of the pitfalls etc, they have ever considered working with a group like CC to make use of their assets?
At least they would be coming from a position of strength and experience……

Comment on UK Nightstops for Motorhomes – The Practicalities by Stuart Mon, 10 Mar 2014 10:32:44 +0000 Brevity is desirable in both cases! ;)

Comment on UK Nightstops for Motorhomes – The Practicalities by Bolero Boy (Chris) Mon, 10 Mar 2014 10:01:32 +0000 Haha, Father of the Bride speech comes first, lol!

Comment on UK Nightstops for Motorhomes – The Practicalities by Stuart Mon, 10 Mar 2014 08:56:18 +0000 CC haven’t limited their interest in any way – but nor have they started looking at it properly yet either. I suppose my sketch of how a motorway service area could be used is an aim at showing how simply and cheaply a nightstop could be developed if existing tarmac is available, but still deliver value to the CC “brand” by its preesence – to illustrate one potential variant.

It sounds like you are the eman to do the documentation!

Comment on UK Nightstops for Motorhomes – The Practicalities by Bolero Boy (Chris) Mon, 10 Mar 2014 08:33:43 +0000 I wasn’t really suggesting that we do the project management for CC, rather that we will still need to tell them what we want, and where.

The ‘what’ has a number of essentials, which will be present in whichever location they end up. The ‘ what’ will also have a number of variables which change with each ‘where’ as they might be site specific.

Ive no personal experience of the motorway service stations other than stopping for a 10 min break (in car a d MH) and as such have taken very little notice of their suitability for development in this way.

What info did the CC give regarding their willingness to look at sites they dont own?
I thought that they had said they were (only) interested in utilising ‘existing assets’? This is an important point.

The Clubs own sites are known, all owned by the same group and development controlled internally by them.
Thinking about developing service stations means the club getting into contract negotiations with various companies. These might be interested in adding further facilities to the current offerings in order to attract MHers using as stopovers.

The difficulty is, where do we start? Do you look at service station locations by company and find a couple of good locations, then look at the additional elements needed – this ensures the CC deals with the minimum of companies or does the CC kick the ball around with various organisations, trying to sell the idea of modifying their offering to add ‘ stopover’ components?

Either way, I dont think its possible to pick out specific locations (other than as an example of their generic qualities) as, until CC actually engage, we wont know the reaction. Yes, I understand, who ever the CC engage with (if anyone) whether internal management groups or other third parties, they will need a set of requirements. This needs to be documented though, currently, the list is concise.

Just been reading up on producing a User Requirements document; it needs a little thought beyond just half a dozen lines – need to get into some specifics about space required, how payment is made, access to the site area, access to water and waste etc, maximum amount of water dispensed, card/token/coin operated, change given? EHU – how many, what amperage?

This seems to me to be the next step, producing something physical (in draft) to allow to CC to better understand what is being asked for.

Comment on UK Nightstops for Motorhomes – The Practicalities by Stuart Sun, 09 Mar 2014 18:52:55 +0000 I wasn’t thinking we need to do their job, the project mangement or the financial decisions, and we would concentrate on identifying the preferences fro a user’s viewpoint, using our experience of the spectrum of continental aire and our knowledge of UK. So for example I reckon that the Service Area on the M^ Toll (assuming the Landowner is interested in allowing CC to take a slice) would become busy as a transit nightstop if it was kept tidy and secure and had the essentials like water and tank dumping. It wouldn’t need toilets because they are already there, so it could be relatively uncomplicated (compared with a Club Site) to construct. The location already operates ANPR for collecting parking fees, so that wouldn;t need any extra effport either. So that (or another motorway service area) would be worth looking at.

The obvious way to orientate the parking would be like a lorry car park, with a maximum of two motorhomes nose to tail per lane, so they could both get out, and some single occupancy lanes for caravan outfits. We leave all the details to CC Management.