West (mostly) E Anglia Activity

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SBirnie
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West (mostly) E Anglia Activity

Post by SBirnie »

Emails sent (with appropriate support documents) & summary of replies:-
5/1 Little Gransden Village Hall: interested, to be considered at committee meeting 14/1.
6/1 Crown & Cushion pub, Great Gransden: interested, but concerned about “nimby” neighbours, possible insurance cover issues & taking business from the CCC CS located just outside village.
7/1 The Chequers pub, Little Gransden: no response yet, chased 14/1.
13/1 Manor Farm, Bourn: no response yet
13/1 The Red House pub & restaurant, Longstowe: no response yet
13/1 Wysing Arts Centre, Bourn: no response yet
13/1 Cambridge Caravans, Little Eversden: owner is a motorhomers & supportive, but no space for an aire - he’s still considering possibly offering service point facilities.
13/1 The Parson Woodforde, Weston Longville (Norfolk): interested as owners were once full time motorhomers for a couple of years, but won’t provide an aire due to “nimby” issues.
13/1 Pioneer Caravans, Eye, Nr Peterborough: no response yet
14/1 Cambridge Park & Ride (Cambs County Council): no response yet
14/1 Greater Cambridge Partnership (co-ordinates business opportunities & development around Cambridge): responded & considering
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Re: West (mostly) E Anglia Activity

Post by SBirnie »

Activity update:-
14/1/21 Crown & Cushion, Great Gransden: will keep idea in “melting pot” for the future
15/1/21 The Chequers, Little Gransden: no reply, chaser sent
18/1/21 Cambridge P&R: reply received from its Manager, he advised knowing about Canterbury’s P&R also their Colin Perris personally, but luke-warm to aires suggestion; suggested I contact Cambs CC, which I’ve done today 20/1/21.
19/1/21 Wysing Arts Centre, Bourn: acknowledged with interest & considering
20/1/21 Manor Farm, Bourn: no reply, reminder sent
20/1/21 The Red House, Longstowe: no reply, reminder sent
20/1/21 Pioneer Caravans, Eye: no reply, reminder sent
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Re: West (mostly) E Anglia Activity

Post by SBirnie »

Re Cambridge P&R sites, below are emails I’ve exchanged with the Bus & Facilities Manager and latterly sent to Cambs County Council’s Executive Team plus sent via CCC’s website contact page - I’ve sent them the Canterbury success story doc, key facts doc & the CAMPrA survey doc:-

Fwd: Motorhomes / Motor Caravans - Campaign for Real Aires (CAMPrA)

Hello All,

I live in Great Gransden.

I'm forwarding the below email string to you to bring your attention to the national campaign mentioned above. The email string and attachments give detail on the campaign, but more particularly on enquiries I've initiated with regard to Cambridge's park & ride sites. Following the suggestion by Campbell Ross-Bain in his response to me, I've sent today a message on Cambs County Councli's contact page on their website canvassing for Cambridge to follow the successful example set by Canterbury. But, I felt it appropriate also to message you directly as members of the Council's Executive and (to Julie) as my local councillor.

Please consider this matter and if I can assist with any further information you require, please do not hesitate to ask me.

Meantime, I would appreciate a brief acknowledgment to this email.

Best regards,


Steve Birnie


-----Original Message-----
From: stephenbirnie@aol.com
To: Campbell.Ross-Bain@cambridgeshire.gov.uk <Campbell.Ross-Bain@cambridgeshire.gov.uk>
Sent: Tue, 19 Jan 2021 11:17
Subject: Re: Motorhomes / Motor Caravans

Hi Campbell,

Many thanks for your reply and for the large amount of time you’ve clearly spent on this. I hope you won’t mind me replying at similar length!

I’m glad you were already aware of Canterbury’s facilities and, presumably, also of its apparent success for the city. I wasn’t aware of the changes at Trumpington, but can appreciate the need for as many spaces as possible for the Addenbrookes linked traffic. I wasn’t aware either of the removal of the ANPR systems.

The issues posed by the travellers’ community across the country are well known and this is, no doubt, a common reason for the ubiquitous height barriers that are, as an aside, a huge problem for motorhomers. You may be right about how other countries view illegal encampments, however, Canterbury must have overcome this problem to sustain their successful aires. I don’t fully understand your comment about the views of Cambs and Kent Police; presumably, the relevant policing issues are the same for both. However, while I’d acknowledge the travellers’ encampments you cite are seriously problematic, it is all too easy to use them against the aspirations of those represented by CAMPrA, who have no intention of causing such problems!

I would accept that achieving the Canterbury level of success in Cambridge’s park & ride sites would require some investment. You express a view of potentially only low usage by motorhomes and minimal economic benefits to Cambridge, appearing to miss the point that they would stay overnight in the aires, not just be day visitors. Their spending in the city would be a boost in the difficult times we all now experience from the pandemic. I attach here a copy of a CAMPrA survey, which I hope persuades you that there is a significant economic benefit. Cambridge is a strong attraction to motorhome tourists from the UK and Europe. If it provided a Canterbury level of welcome to them in its park and ride sites, it would not only derive revenue from the aires, but would increase use of the park and ride services helping to reduce traffic and parking congestion in the city.

Anyway, thank you for your suggestion of canvassing local county councillors, which I shall take up. Again, many thanks for your time.

Best regards,

Steve

Sent from my iPad

On 18 Jan 2021, at 16:39, Ross-Bain Campbell <Campbell.Ross-Bain@cambridgeshire.gov.uk> wrote:


Dear Steve, many thanks for your email.

With the recent extension works at Trumpington the old camper van bays were removed from the layout. This is due to the fact that due to the expansion of Addenbrooke’s biomedical campus we need every space we can get for workers and patients visiting the site. The fact that parking is free for up to 18 hours at all our sites now and the removal of the old anpr system means there is no easy way to control stays. I am well aware of the Canterbury scheme and have known Colin Perris since 2005. Cambridge is a hot spot for transient and illegal traveller encampments. Unfortunately the view of Cambridgeshire police is very different from Kent. Illegal encampment in the UK is a civil offence rather than a criminal one as it is in Ireland and probably other European states. This means that every time we have had traveller incursions at our sites it has cost the service thousands in legal and clean up fees to remove them from the site. It also takes weeks to do so, leading to a reduction in usage of the site as core users remove themselves from harms’ way. The cost of this has to be borne by the service and the local taxpayer. The current layout of the sites does not lend itself to a separate area for camper vans, cordoned off from the rest of the car park and whilst the car parks are full of commuters and other visitors why would a service keep large areas clear on the off- chance a motorhome may visit.

I am yet to be convinced by factual data that day visitors such as camper van users contribute hugely to the economic growth of a city such as Cambridge. The strategy of the City Council tourist office has been to increase overnight and longer term stays in the city as these bring the biggest actual benefits for the service sector.

I would suggest that you canvass local county councillors as their views can help shape the future direction of the council’s strategy and services.

Kind regards


Campbell Ross-Bain

Bus Operations & Facilities Manager
07714 063875



From: stephenbirnie@aol.com <stephenbirnie@aol.com>
Sent: 14 January 2021 11:44
To: parkride <parkride@cambridgeshire.gov.uk>
Subject: Motorhomes / Motor Caravans


Good Morning,

My wife & I have lived in Great Gransden since 1981. We use the park & ride facilities for Cambridge, mostly from Madingley Road. We have been keen motorhomers since 1984 & since retiring in 2015 have been fortunate to enjoy extended touring in the UK and in Europe, that is, until the Covid pandemic struck last year. But, like us all, we look forward to better days ahead, which is what this email considers linking it to improving the motorhome tourists' experience of Cambridge.

As you may be aware, the pandemic has resulted in a massive increase in Staycations and a huge demand for self-contained motorhomes / motor caravans (currently over 357K registered with DVLA & increasing at record pace), which are seen as a safe means of holidaying, travelling and social distancing. Motorhome ownership in Europe exceeds 2 million units & we know their owners find Cambridge a particular draw. Caravanning & tent camping similarly became increasingly very popular last summer. This overall increased demand saw campsite capacity being overwhelmed. A solution is needed.
May I introduce you to CAMPrA (Campaign for Real Aires), a near 15,000-strong movement of motorhomers (and growing). Aires is derived from the French term "Aire de Service Camping Car", literally a parking area for self-contained motorhomes / motor caravans that are set up for towns and villages. These are very widespread & successful in Europe, particularly in France, Germany and Spain, but the UK has very few. They aren't campsites, but allow overnight stays of short duration, say usually about 48 hours, to enable the touring occupants to easily visit, explore and spend money in the locations where they are located. Many British motorhomers who have benefited greatly from using aires in Europe dearly wish to see the UK develop a similarly extensive network. This is especially pressing now with the current Staycation boom.

Park & ride sites around the UK and motorhome tourists are perfectly positioned to be of great mutual benefit. The attachment here will give you more detail about the concept and practicalities as seen at the successful Canterbury park & ride sites, which have been operating for about 15 years..
I'm aware that there is specific parking spaces available at your Trumpington site. It occurs to me that you might well be interested in expanding available spaces to the other sites you operate and establishing aires also, if only at first on a trial basis, by simply offering overnight parking for a fee. The potential is for year round usage because motorhomers tour increasingly through all the seasons and could produce a steady, extra revenue stream for you. If later seen as viable, then facilities similar to those offered in Canterbury could be added. The resulting ease for motorhome tourists visiting Cambridge would bring economic benefits.

I won't say any more at this point, but will leave you with an invitation to digest and consider the attachment. Please do contact me for more information if you need it - I have other documents at hand to send you, depending on any specific enquiries you'd like to make, but please do also note the invitation from Canterbury to get in touch with them if you'd like their input and experience. Alternatively, call me for a chat on all this, if you'd like.

Meantime, I'd much appreciate a brief acknowledgement to this email.

Regards,


Steve
07542 561275
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Re: West (mostly) E Anglia Activity

Post by SBirnie »

Following email text & Emergency Staycation Recovery Plan doc sent today to Cambs MPs Jonathan Djanogly, Daniel Zeichner, Steve Barclay, Shailesh Vara, Anthony Browne & Lucy Fraser:-

I am a motorhome owner & member of a rapidly expanding and active group of such owners known as Campaign for Real Aires (CAMPrA).

I attach a CAMPrA document titled Emergency Staycation Recovery Plan, which I am forwarding also to your colleague MPs in Cambridgeshire and to District and Town Councils in the county.

While appreciating there is a great deal on everyone's plate at this time, the better times to which we all look forward will include holiday and tourist activities. Due to pandemic and Brexit issues, these are likely predominantly to be staycations Based on 2020 post-lockdown experiences, motorhome, caravan and camping holidays and activities are very likely to turn into disappointment for many through present facilities becoming overwhelmed. CAMPrA's campaign recommends practical, quick and inexpensive ways to alleviate at least a good part of that disappointment.

I hope you will support CAMPrA's aims and also support where and when necessary actions by local authorities to meet them.

Should you require more information on CAMPrA, please visit campra.org.uk. Alternatively, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Many thanks for your time.

Regards,


Steve Birnie
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Re: West (mostly) E Anglia Activity

Post by SBirnie »

Following email sent today with Emergency Staycation Recovery doc to my District Councillor (Huntingdon District Council):-

Dear Richard,

I live in Great Gransden.

I am a motorhome owner & member of a rapidly expanding and active group of such owners known as Campaign for Real Aires (CAMPrA).

I attach two CAMPrA documents titled Emergency Staycation Recovery Plan and Background, respectively,which I'd like to forward also to the appropriate part of HDC. I'd be very grateful if you could advise me of a contact email address that you can recommend.

I have already forwarded copies to Jonathan Djanogly, our MP, and his colleague MPs in Cambridgeshire. I intend to send copies to the other District and Town Councils in the county.

While appreciating there is a great deal on everyone's plate at this time, the better times to which we all look forward will include holiday and tourist activities. Due to pandemic and Brexit issues, these are likely predominantly to be staycations. Based on 2020 post-lockdown experiences, motorhome, caravan and camping holidays and activities are very likely to turn into disappointment for many through present facilities becoming overwhelmed. CAMPrA's campaign recommends practical, quick and inexpensive ways to alleviate at least a good part of that disappointment.

I hope you will support CAMPrA's aims and also support where and when necessary actions by local bodies to meet them.

Should you require more information on CAMPrA, please visit campra.org.uk. Alternatively, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Many thanks for your time.

Regards,


Steve Birnie
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Re: West (mostly) E Anglia Activity

Post by SBirnie »

Following email sent today with Emergency Staycation Recovery doc to my District Councillor (Huntingdon District Council):-

Dear Richard,

I live in Great Gransden.

I am a motorhome owner & member of a rapidly expanding and active group of such owners known as Campaign for Real Aires (CAMPrA).

I attach two CAMPrA documents titled Emergency Staycation Recovery Plan and Background, respectively,which I'd like to forward also to the appropriate part of HDC. I'd be very grateful if you could advise me of a contact email address that you can recommend.

I have already forwarded copies to Jonathan Djanogly, our MP, and his colleague MPs in Cambridgeshire. I intend to send copies to the other District and Town Councils in the county.

While appreciating there is a great deal on everyone's plate at this time, the better times to which we all look forward will include holiday and tourist activities. Due to pandemic and Brexit issues, these are likely predominantly to be staycations. Based on 2020 post-lockdown experiences, motorhome, caravan and camping holidays and activities are very likely to turn into disappointment for many through present facilities becoming overwhelmed. CAMPrA's campaign recommends practical, quick and inexpensive ways to alleviate at least a good part of that disappointment.

I hope you will support CAMPrA's aims and also support where and when necessary actions by local bodies to meet them.

Should you require more information on CAMPrA, please visit campra.org.uk. Alternatively, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Many thanks for your time.

Regards,


Steve Birnie
SBirnie
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Re: West (mostly) E Anglia Activity

Post by SBirnie »

Reasonably positive response from my District Councillor - he’s happy to spread “the word”:-

Dear Richard,

Many thanks for your quick reply & action.

Yes, please do forward my email & attachments to the parish councils you mentioned.

I much appreciate your help.

Best regards,


Steve Birnie

Sent from my iPhone

On 21 Jan 2021, at 20:04, Richard West (Cllr) <Richard.West@huntingdonshiredc.org.uk> wrote:

Dear Mr. Birnie
I have forwarded your email to district council seeking the officer best to serve your interests and the general public
May I forward your email to parish councils in the Great Paxton ward Abbotsley Great Paxton Great Gransden Waresley cum Tetworth Yelling and Toseland.
Kind Regards
Richard
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Re: West (mostly) E Anglia Activity

Post by SBirnie »

Following emailed today to all of Cambridgeshire’ district councils (excepting Hunts DC as I emailed similarly yesterday to their councillor for my home area) and to town councils of Ely, Soham & Huntingdon:-

Good Morning,

I am a motorhome owner & member of a rapidly expanding and active national group of such owners known as Campaign for Real Aires (CAMPrA).

I attach two CAMPrA documents titled Emergency Staycation Recovery Plan and Background Notes, respectively, which explain its current strong concerns about the UK's current staycation facilities' capacity.

I have already forwarded copies to all MPs in Cambridgeshire. I'm sending copies to the other District and Town Councils in the county.

While appreciating there is a great deal on everyone's plate at this time, the better times to which we all look forward will include holiday and tourist activities. Due to pandemic and Brexit issues, these are likely predominantly to be staycations. Based on 2020 post-lockdown experiences, motorhome, caravan and camping holidays and activities are very likely to turn into disappointment for many through present facilities becoming overwhelmed. CAMPrA's campaign recommends practical, quick and inexpensive ways to alleviate at least a good part of that disappointment.

I hope you will support CAMPrA's aims and also support where and when necessary actions by local bodies to meet them.

Should you require more information on CAMPrA, please visit campra.org.uk. Alternatively, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Many thanks for your time.

Regards,


Steve Birnie
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Re: West (mostly) E Anglia Activity

Post by SBirnie »

“Are we ready for the post-lockdown tourist boom?” text emailed today to following news outlets with request for publicity:-
Cambridge News
Hunts Post
East Anglian Daily Times
Cambs-Times
The Independent
Evening Standard
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Re: West (mostly) E Anglia Activity

Post by SBirnie »

Email sent today to Morris Leisure (campsite chain) with text of letter to campsites - await response.
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