West Midlands Tourist Route

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Steve
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West Midlands Tourist Route

Post by Steve »

This is just at the idea stage but we have interest from West Midlands Tourism so would like to prepare a draft route in preparation for a proposed meeting.
We need local knowledge for each area and ideas of what to see.

Ideas and details on here please,
If you would like to join the West Midlands Campaign Group (hidden group) to assist in the West Midlands Area please let me know?
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Yorkcov
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Re: West Midlands Tourist Route

Post by Yorkcov »

Coventry has a Park and Ride which could be suitable (sorry I'm shielding so can't get out to check it out)
Jim O'boyle is the cabinet member for jobs and regeneration and is my local Councillor. Also Coventry is this years City of Culture. I emailed Jim last October but unfortunately haven't had a reply!

"Dear Jim

I hope you are well


Now more than ever we need to do everything we can to promote and support local businesses. In the current climate, staycations are becoming increasingly popular and there are a large group of people choosing to explore the UK in self-contained Motorhomes.

I have usually gone to Europe where Motorhomes are welcomed but this year have had to travel nearer home.

The sales of motorhomes and campervans are at an all-time high and there are currently over 250,000 registered motorhomes/campervans in the UK. Unfortunately, the UK is currently a very unfriendly and unwelcoming place for motorhomes with many parking restrictions, height barriers and a general misconception that motorhomes are a nuisance who contribute nothing.

Fortunately, this is beginning to change, and many councils across the country are seeing the missed opportunities and the benefits of attracting self-contained motorhome visitors.

On the European mainland there are numerous motorhome stopovers which provide flexibility for motorhomers to travel freely and easily sometimes for months at a time. These are known as Aires (France), Stellplatz (Germany) and Sostas (Italy) and are available in virtually every city, town and village, with many towns have more than one. Dresden, with whom we are twinned, has three.

Motorhome Aires provide overnight stops for self-contained motorhomes, sometimes with services or some that are just dedicated motorhome parking in an existing car park. The cost of these stopovers ranges from free up to around £15 per night for a fully serviced Aire, which can include fresh water, disposal of grey waste (washing up water, shower water etc) and disposal of black waste (toilet waste), and occasionally electric hook up and even Wi-Fi.

These stopovers do not take business from campsites or hotels and often co-exist in harmony. As an example, in Brittany there are some 1200 aires/camperstops and numerous campsites. Quite often, the aires operate just outside the campsite.

Motorhomers have on board facilities (cooking, showering, toilet, water and waste storage etc) and are nomadic tourers who park up and explore the town or village, generally staying for no more than two nights. Caravans and tents tend to stay on the same site for a week or more and require campsites with all the facilities. They also have a car to allow them to explore nearby towns and villages.

Furthermore, the motorhoming community is generally a great asset to the area they visit. Being mostly but not exclusively of an older generation (50+), they have a good disposable income, which they use to buy from local shops, and patronise local cafes, pubs and restaurants - so an asset when Coventry's visitor strategy has identified typical tourists have a low level of spend. They also have the opportunity to travel outside of normal holiday periods bringing in additional revenue at quieter times. In addition, contrary to the unwarranted popular belief they generally do not leave a mess behind, advocating a code of conduct of ‘Leave no Trace’

Many European motorhomers who would like to visit the UK are put off as the UK is perceived as not being motorhome friendly due to a lack of motorhome Aires. They do not wish to stay in hotels or need or want to stay on campsites with all facilities so they vote with their feet and do not visit.

However, whilst true Aires in the UK are few and far between there are some areas in the UK that has started to see the benefits of providing dedicated Motorhome Parking such as;

· North Yorkshire who have dedicated places at Skipton (12), Ingleton (3), Settle (6) and Helmsley (12) https://www.searchforsites.co.uk/marker.php?id=28666 These provide overnight parking with no facilities and the towns benefit from an income of £6 per motorhome per night in what would otherwise be empty car parks, and the local shops, cafes and restaurants benefit from passing trade.

· Canterbury have opened a fully serviced aire at a cost of £3.50 per 24 hours, at a Park and Ride which includes bus fare into the city and which would provide a good model for our own park and ride. https://www.canterbury.gov.uk/info/2006 ... me_parking

There is a huge network of motorhomers throughout the UK; recommendations are often sought for places to stay where motorhomes are welcome. Many people visit places because they know they will have somewhere to park, and many towns and villages are bypassed because they don’t.

There is a fast-growing campaign called CAMpRA The Campaign for Real Aires in the UK. They can offer assistance to councils in setting up Aires. www.campra.org.uk

I think this is a particularly opportune time to explore this what with the devastaion of business from Covid and the upcoming City of Culture 2021, for which funds are available.

I hope you can see there is a real opportunity to bring extra visitors and trade to Coventry. If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me. If there is someone more appropriate than you to look at this I would be grateful if you could forward it on.


Kind regards


Alan York
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Re: West Midlands Tourist Route

Post by Yorkcov »

Steve, Can you put me down for the West Midlands Campaign Group please

Thanks

Alan York
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Re: West Midlands Tourist Route

Post by Steve »

Alan you should see the campaign group now
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Re: West Midlands Tourist Route

Post by Louey »

Just off the top of my head, a few places worth visiting in the West Midlands.

Black Country Museum and Dudley Canal tunnels - both have car parks that could be used.

Cannock Chase - though it did/does have campsites.

Coombe Abbey - large carpark and cafe/restaurant in main house.

Wyre Forest - a large main car park with cafe, Go Ape and cycle route/path into Bewdley.

Worcester - does already have MH spaces in the Arches carpark

Birmingham city centre - this had become a bit of a tourist mecca before the pandemic, for shopping, theatres and drab concrete architecture ;) also the jewellery quarter and canals. There is a Truckstop near Aston University, not sure of it's viability.

Straford-Upon-Avon - once they decide not to charge £££££ for the Leisure Centre.

Hatton Locks - large parking area

Warwick/Leamington/Kenilworth - castles, history and tea shops.

Kingsbury Water Park - might have to battle the local C&CC campsite to persuade local authority to have overnights. Already has a barriered carpark.
Louey
Rodp
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Re: West Midlands Tourist Route

Post by Rodp »

Dudley zoo, Black Country Living Museum, canal tours etc are all in one relatively small area served by several large car parks. The tram link to Merry Hill shopping centre is underway and a short walk from the car parks. The new zoo car parks are vast, partly tarmacked and partly shale / hard standing. An area on there could easily and cheaply be installed as the zoo grounds are just a few metres away with access to power, waste and water. An area there could quite easily contain full facilities (including showers) and would attract a lot of business to the local area. Iron bridge gorge is only a 45 minute drive away, another tourist attraction with seven museums of different interests.
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Re: West Midlands Tourist Route

Post by Steve »

I have tried Twycross Zoo with no response despite being on TV claiming they may need to cull animals, we have stayed there on caravan rallies and it would be so easy to operate an Aire, can you try to contact Dudley zoo please?
We have the support of the head of west Midlands tourism strategy group.
I have contacted Biaza who operate many UK zoos they replied very promptly and are willing to look into post lockdown so any contact with zoos would be positive, also the black country museum would be a great place
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Rodp
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Re: West Midlands Tourist Route

Post by Rodp »

Is there a template email/letter? If so I'll get one off to the Zoo, museum and the Dudley Canal and Tunnel trust. They all share the same area of land along with the soon to be tram station and light rail venture.
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Re: West Midlands Tourist Route

Post by Steve »

There are several templates that can be adapted, one that I have produced for my town called
“Help our town recover from lockdown” could be modified

“Benefits of motorcaravans”
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Re: West Midlands Tourist Route

Post by Mrsmc219 »

We stayed this weekend at the Hampton Road car park at Warwick which is operated by Warwick District Council.
The charge is £1 per night and no limit on stay.
There are no facilities and no dedicated MH bays but overnights are allowed and incredibly helpful staff arrive within 20 mins of you phoning to request that they open the height barriers. They operate between 6am and 9pm 7 days per week.
It is just over the racecourse from the CACC site where in non COVID times members could access water, waste and shower facilities.
Car park is level and has good access. Easy walk into town centre and walking and golf on the racecourse.
Could this be a Campra approved aire?
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