Come the 12th April, when (hopefully) campsites are allowed to receive guests, a lot of motorhomes will be taking to England’s roads, their owners desperate for a break and change of scenery after months of lockdown. Many of those campsites, however, will already be fully booked, leaving frustrated motorhome owners taking a chance on stopping overnight on roadsides or in car parks.
It’s an issue that many councils in tourist areas will be facing this summer, with the current ban on travel beyond our borders. Some, such as North Devon’s Mortehoe Parish Council, which covers the popular Woolacombe Beach, wants legislation passed that leisure vehicles ‘must use existing registered and approved camping and overnight areas for overnight stays’. Others, for example the Copeland Borough Council in West Cumbria, want to stem ‘fly camping’ by connecting with businesses, such as pubs or shops with extra outside space, that can offer overnight space to visiting motorhomes. It’s an idea that already exists in the Nightstop scheme (www.practicalmotorhome.com/nightstops), but there’s certainly room for its extension and it’s a huge opportunity for British businesses and the British economy.
Motorhome owners flock to motorhome-friendly France for the 3945 aires (All the Aires France https://www.vicarious-shop.com/products/all-the-aires-france-north-and-south-3-together) located on the edges of towns, by rivers and along coastlines that allow them to explore an area and move on. There is also the France Passion scheme (https://www.france-passion.com/en/) listing more than 2000 stopovers on farms, vineyards, orchards and with artisans.
Motorhomes contribute a substantial amount to the tourism spend and, with more enlightened ways to accommodate them, that spend could remain in Britain beyond 2021.