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‘I pay a premium for this view but it’s spoiled by visitors who tell me to f*** off’

In Europe
June 10, 2024

Fed-up residents living near a historic seafront and bay in Lancashire say they’ve had enough of ‘huge, fancy’ motorhomes and campervans descending in summer months.

They claim Morecambe’s picturesque promenade is being spoiled by a plague of holiday vehicles, even reporting examples of ‘vans with mattresses chucked in the back’. Instead of using local campsites, residents say visitors are exploiting lax rules on the promenade – which they add is now being clogged by scores of ‘bigger and bigger’ vehicles.

Earlier this year, it was alleged a full-sized bus of tourists from Windermere parked up for the whole night, and ‘lights were seen on inside the cabin well into the early hours’.

Residents say the tourists aren’t contributing to the economy by spending money with local businesses and are putting public health at risk with toilet waste.

READ MORE: Police cordon in place outside busy Greater Manchester shopping centre after Barclays bank smashed up

Michael Dickson Glen lives in the Thornton Road area near the Hazelmere hotel building. He said: “I bought a retirement apartment with a view overlooking Morecambe Bay. Its a beautiful area and people pay a premium for the views. I’m paying the top rate of council tax to live here. But there are camper vans and other vans parked all along the promenade, blocking the view.

“Why don’t they go to proper camp sites? It only costs £12 to get hooked-up and have proper facilities like showers. I’ve seen people disposing toilet waste down drains on the street. But it’s the main road with Morecambe beach just below, They’re very clever about parking near drains. I’ve seen that happen three or four times.

Parked motorhomes -Credit:Copyright Unknown

Parked motorhomes -Credit:Copyright Unknown

“I’ve asked them why don’t they go to camp-sites? I never get a proper answer. They say their vehicles are taxed and insured. Or they tell me to f*** off. These are people in the 50s-age group who should know better.”

As the spring bank holiday and summer season approaches, there are calls for new, clearer rules for campervans and other motorhomes along Morecambe’s promenade, and for action to stop people staying overnight in vehicles along the prom, reports Lancs Live.

In the past, the council has been asked to provide designated spaces for touring vehicles. Resident Suzanne Smith, of Marine Road, expressed her anger and anxiety at the alleged problems.

She said: said: “This is about parking in Marine Road particularly outside where I live. I used to live elsewhere in Morecambe but moved to my current house in 2021. I am speaking on behalf of a number of residents. I have experienced some nastiness from some motorhome owners and decided to take advice from the police.

“Right through the summer we experienced a white wall of motorhomes and disrespect from the owners. It’s not good for residents’ mental health. The owners of these huge fancy vans are putting very little into the local economy. They spend very little but get great views across Morecambe Bay for days. There is also litter, maintenance work, water and effluent.

“I have seen some effluent straight down onto the beach. Unfortunately it was not an isolated incident. But by the time the environmental department staff arrive, the vehicles have typically left.”

Paul Hart and Margaret Pattison in Morecambe with camper vans -Credit:Copyright Unknown

Paul Hart and Margaret Pattison in Morecambe with camper vans -Credit:Copyright Unknown

Tourism is key for the area’s economy and opinions vary about what should be done. Some residents are pressuring councillors for action, and the issues have been raised at town, city and county councils. Opinions differ about what type of restrictions should be imposed, such as the size or type of vehicles or on the hours when vehicles can stay.

Michael Dickson Glen added: “I go out for a walk most mornings about 6.30am along the prom. The other day I passed a man and heard the unmistakable sound of him urinating. I asked what he was doing? He said what has it got to do with me? I said I live across the road. He gave me a load of verbal abuse.

“So I took a photo of his vehicle’s number plate and called the police. Police arrived about 9.30. They were fairly sympathetic but the man and vehicle had gone. But the police said it wasn’t a complete waste of time because, based on the photo of the number plate, the vehicle was not insured.

“But it’s a constant battle. When I’ve suggested to drivers that they move down towards the golf club, all I get is verbal abuse. People tell you to f*** off. It’s got worse over the years. We have a bank holiday coming up and there will loads of these vehicles… How can they possibly justify parking on the prom all day and not spending any money in the town? They arrive fully-loaded with glasses, wine, beer and food. That’s really annoying too.

“Also some vehicles are parked here the entire winter. They’re probably owned by locals who don’t have enough space at home to store them.”

He added: “I’ve spoken to many people – councillors and MPs. Everybody has the wrath of me. Various councillors are looking at it. But it needs to be addressed because, if it’s not, it’ll only increase with the Eden Project coming.

Morecambe -Credit:Copyright Unknown

Morecambe -Credit:Copyright Unknown

“Personally, I’d like camper vans and motor-homes banned at all times from the promenade. They should have proper facilities elsewhere. But other people think they should only me banned overnight.”

Margaret Pattison, a Labour city and county councillor, has raised the issues at various levels including lancaster-city-council>Lancaster City Council recently. The city council operates some off-street car parks while the county typically manages on-street parking. People say the parking situation is unclear and a wider review of Morecambe’s parking and traffic system is being looked at by the authorities.

She said: “Obviously we want visitors coming to Morecambe but residents want some controls put on the promenade parking and to deal with overnight problems. We need proper places for camper-vans and motor-homes to go – perhaps a new car park?

“I came home late recently and saw a bus on the prom at 3am with the lights on and steam coming out the windows. People are sleeping overnight in vehicles and cooking with gas stoves. It could be really dangerous.

“I told the county council highways people about health and safety concerns. They say the whole parking and traffic system in Morecambe is being looked at ahead of the Eden Project.”

Coun Pattison added: “Morecambe is getting quite a lot of publicity these days. It appears on TV. Tyson Fury runs along the prom. John McGuinness [the motorcyclist] highlights the town. The Eden Project is creating interest. The Winter Gardens. Morecambe’s a good place with good people and businesses. But we need to get promenade and camper-van arrangements right.”

Paul Hart, a Lib-Dem councillor for Poulton, has raised concerns too. He recently told Lancaster City Council that motor-homes are getting bigger and bigger.

He said: “There are motor-homes, camper-vans, vans, buses and even tractors parking along the prom. There have been vans with mattresses inside. I’ve heard rumours about on-line bookings. with people arriving in cars and spending the night in vans. But it can get very complicated and there isn’t always evidence, from what I know so far.

“There are also issues about money spent in the local economy and views of Morecambe Bay. Some camper-van visitors do go into cafes and spend money. Some may spend money in local supermarkets but not in the cafes or shops along the seafront. Some people say these vans take up parking spaces which could otherwise be used for a car carrying a family of four, who would spend more money. Some say these vehicles spoil the views.

“As councillors, we are coming under pressure from residents and businesses. Its important that we get this situation sorted for everyone.” Both councillors said Morecambe Town Council has been looking at the issues too and raising it with Lancaster County Council.

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