Solway Coast, Cumbria Coastal Route

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Billywhiz
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Solway Coast, Cumbria Coastal Route

Post by Billywhiz »

I regularly cycle along the Maryport to Silloth cycle route. I noticed that last week new signs appeared at the entrance to the carparks at either end of Allonby village. There are no signs (yet?) in the central carparks. Red signs with white lettering on wooden stakes. Wording 'No overnight parking'. Professionally made signs, but they do not conform to the usual council type signs, which have 'no camping'. Somebody has taken time and effort putting these up. I suspect they have been put up 'unofficially'. I suspect the work of caravan site owners (of which there are many), but I could be wrong. ;). I have emailed the Clerk of Allonby Parish Council and asked if they have erected them and under what authority, if any, these signs have been erected. Also suggested that if they are unofficial signs that they be removed asap as they constitute 'littering'. I have yet to receive a reply. It seems a shame as Cumbria Tourism want to promote tourism outside of the hotspots of the Lake District and have begun to realise the value of motorhome tourism.
Steve
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Re: Solway Coast, Cumbria Coastal Route

Post by Steve »

Well done , please keep us posted .
We are in contact with the councils so will make them aware.
Steve - CAMpRA Leadership Team
Billywhiz
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Re: Solway Coast, Cumbria Coastal Route

Post by Billywhiz »

An update on progress, or lack of it, with Allonby Parish Council:
I received an initial response from the chair of Allonby Parish Council that said that the signs were a 'reminder' that the official AONB signs at Allonby "showed in detail that parking overnight was not allowed". The email also said that the carparks fell under Allerdale bylaws.
I made a further reply showing photos of the original signs which had a pictogram of a tent and a caravan with lines through them. I explained that these did not in fact show that overnight parking was not allowed and asked for reference to the appropriate bylaws. I also asked what was the definition of overnight parking as people could be fined so needed to have a clear definition. I also poined out that the signs that had been put up by the Parish Council were in fact illegal as they were not by the regulatory authority.
I then turned to a more positive approach and explained the benefits of Aires and CAMpRA and its aims. I included reference links to suppporting documents on the CAMpRA website and informed them of the the good example that Barrow made at the start of the Coastal route.

Today I received the following reply:

Dear Brian. Thank you for your recent e-mail.
I had thought that Campervans and mobile homes came under the aegis of Camping/caravanning.
I understand that new signage is being introduced which includes the pictogram for Campervans, so thank you for your clarification.
All the land in Allonby, outside of farmland and private property, is currently in the ownership of Allerdale Borough Council, including the car-parks.
At the end of the day, the bottom line is that Allerdale have a byelaw which prohibits overnight parking.
The Parish Council asserts that it has a moral obligation to its residents to discourage unlawful activity in the Parish. To this end, although not being a Highways authority, we have campaigned vigorously against speeding through the village, with a variety of signs reinforcing the 30mph limit.
We also campaign against dog fouling with various signs and notices, again in support of an Allerdale byelaw.
I understand from my Vice-Chairman that the local MP, Mark Jenkinson, has agreed to look at the issue with Allerdale Officers.

I am not holding my breath!
I still believe the signs are illegal and should be removed.
I am going to follow up with Allerdale to find the specific bylaw(s) that prohibit overnight parking.
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Re: Solway Coast, Cumbria Coastal Route

Post by Traceybarkwill »

Might be worth a direct approach to the MP. One of the Co Durham MPs has been very supportive.
Billywhiz
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Re: Solway Coast, Cumbria Coastal Route

Post by Billywhiz »

Reply from Mark Jenkinson MP for Workington:

Dear Brian,
Thank you for your interesting suggestions about motorhome provision in West Cumbria. In the first instance, I raised your proposals with Tony Markley, Allerdale Borough Council's Executive Member with responsibility for Leisure and Tourism.
I have asked him to respond to your proposals and observations, and to see if there is any appetite for developing this idea. Such a scheme could indeed have advantages for the visitor economy in West Cumbria, if it is handled sensitively with the public properly consulted.
However, given the issues we are facing with travellers across the borough at the moment, I have some reservations about advertising carparks for overnight stays.
I do agree with you that the signage should be clear, legal, consistent and erected with the appropriate permissions so that overnight visitors in motorhomes are aware of all the rights and restrictions in force.
I will update you as soon as I receive a response.
Yours sincerely
Mark Jenkinson MP
Billywhiz
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Re: Solway Coast, Cumbria Coastal Route

Post by Billywhiz »

An Update on the Allonby/Allerdale/Cumbria Coastal route motorhome lack of provision/aires.
Today I had a letter from Mark Jenkinson MP , Workington, who had asked Cllr. Tony Markley, Executive Member Allerdale, Leisure and Tourism, to respond to my letter. Mr Jenkinson's letter just included a reply by Tony Markle.
Well there wasn't any progress. The reply basically said that Allerdale welcomes motorhome tourists and Allerdale needs to encourage motorhome owners to support their businessses post COVID by staying on paid sites!
Then there was a lot of waffle about opening temporary campsites and 6000 temporary car parking spaces throughout Cumbria. The provision of temporary grey and black water disposal sites was mentioned, 'for those owners who didn't want to stay on sites', but no mention of where those owners would be able to stay. There wasn't even a suggestion of improving provision for overnight stops.
The final paragraph was rather underwhelming, "I realise that a good proportion of owners are looking for a 'get away from it all' experience that means that they will not stay on sites but I think it is important to balance the needs of visitors with those of our local communities. I think that we have got the balance right so there are no plans to introduce aires but I will keep the position under review."
I can't understand 'the needs ..........of our local communities', when the needs would be better served by encouraging motorhome tourists to spend money in the communities by offering them places to stop for the night.
I have written to Tony Markle separately (a couple of weeks ago, no reply so far) and pointed out the advantages of encouraging motorhome tourism and refered him to the relevant documents on the CAMpRA site.
Steve
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Re: Solway Coast, Cumbria Coastal Route

Post by Steve »

He clearly has not read or failed to understand that an Aire is a “paid site” just one thats for short overnight stays for self contained motorcaravans allowing them to visit and spend in the local economy.
He clearly accepts that a lot of motorcaravans want the freedom to tour and will not use campsites so will by definition not spend in his locally business.

What do the local shops and businesses feel about this missed opportunity by turning away a year round income stream?

Maybe a local newspaper may be interested in highlighting the fact that their local leisure and tourism executive is refusing to embrace the concept that has been proven so successful in Europe and now being recognised by many UK councils.

What are the local “paid campsites” and are they open all year round.

Personally I would focus on finding small businesses to set up with an exemption certificate and leave the councils to catch up when they wonder where all the tourist have gone.
Steve - CAMpRA Leadership Team
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