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

Suffering residents who live near a historic waterfront and harbor in Lancashire say they are seeing loads of ‘huge, fancy’ motor homes and camper vans coming down in the summer months.

They claim that Morecambe’s picturesque promenade is being ruined by a plague of holiday vehicles, even reporting examples of ‘vans with mattresses stuffed in the back’. Instead of using local campsites, residents say visitors are taking advantage of lax rules on the promenade – which they say is now being covered by ‘more and more’ scores of vehicles.

Earlier this year, it was alleged that a full-sized tourist bus from Windermere was parked up all night, with ‘lights visible inside the cabin well into the early hours’.

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

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

“Why don’t they go to proper campsites? It only costs £12 to pitch in and have proper facilities like showers. I’ve seen people dumping toilet waste down drains on the street. But it’s the main road to Morecambe beach just below, They are very smart about parking near drains I saw that happen three or four times.

Parked motor homes - Credit: Copyright Unknown

Parked motor homes – Credit: Copyright Unknown

“I asked them why they don’t go to campsites? I never get a straight answer. They say their vehicles are taxed and insured. Or they tell me to quit *** These are people in their 50s. – age group on they should know better.”

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

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 concern about the alleged problems.

She said: “This concerns parking in Marine Road particularly outside where I live. I used to live elsewhere in Morecambe but I moved to my current home 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.

“During the summer we had a white wall of motor homes and a lack of respect from the owners. It is not good for the mental health of the residents. The owners of these big fancy vans are contributing very little to the local economy. They spend little but get great views across Morecambe Bay for days. There is also rubbish, maintenance work, water and effluent.

“I’ve seen some effluent just down the beach. Unfortunately it was not an isolated incident. But by the time the Department of Environment team arrives, the vehicles are usually gone.”

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

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

Tourism is vital to the economy of the area and opinions differ on what should be done. Some residents are pressuring councilors to take action, and the issues have been raised at town, city and county councils. Opinions differ on the type of restrictions that should be imposed, such as the size or type of vehicles or the hours that vehicles can stay.

Michael Dickson Glen added: “I go for a walk most mornings around 6.30am along the prom. The other day I passed a man and heard the unmistakable sound of him urinating. Asked What was he doing? What did he get to do with me?

“So I took a photo of the number plate of his vehicle and called the police. The police came around 9.30. They were quite sympathetic but the man and the vehicle were gone. But the police said it wasn’t a complete waste of time because , based on the license plate photo, the vehicle was not insured.

“But it’s a constant battle. When I suggest drivers move down towards the golf club, all I get is verbal abuse. People tell you to give up. It’s getting worse over the years. bank holiday coming up and many of these vehicles will … How can they possibly park on the prom all day and not spend any money on the town They arrive fully loaded with glasses, wine, beer and annoying food too.

“There are also a number of vehicles parked here all winter. They probably belong to locals who don’t have enough space at home to store them.”

He added: “I have spoken to a lot of people – councilors and MPs. Everyone is angry with me. Different councilors are looking at it. But it has to be tackled because, if not, it will only increase with Eden. Project coming.

Morecambe -Credit:Copyright UnknownMorecambe -Credit:Copyright Unknown

Morecambe -Credit:Copyright Unknown

“Personally, I always want to ban camper vans and motor homes from the promenade. They should have proper facilities elsewhere. But others think they should just ban me overnight.”

Margaret Pattison, a Labor city and county councillor, raised the issues at various levels including Lancaster city council>Lancaster City Council. The city council operates some off-street car parks and the county usually manages on-street parking. People say the parking situation is unclear and authorities are carrying out a wider review of Morecambe’s parking and traffic system.

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

“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 be dangerous.

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

Councilor Pattison said: “Morecambe is getting a lot of publicity these days. It’s on TV. Tyson Fury runs along the prom. John McGuinness [the motorcyclist] emphasis on the town. The Eden Project is generating interest. The Winter Gardens. Morecambe is a good place with good people and businesses. But we have to get the arrangements for the promenade and the camper vans right.”

Paul Hart, Lib-Dem councilor for Poulton, is also concerned. He told Lancaster City Council recently that motorhomes are getting bigger and bigger.

He said: “There are motorhomes, camper vans, vans, buses and even tractors parked along the prom. There were vans with mattresses in them. I’ve heard rumors of online bookings. With people arriving in cars and at night spend in vans But it can get very complicated and there isn’t always evidence, from what I know so far.

“There are also issues with money spent in the local economy and views of Morecambe Bay. Some campervan visitors go into cafes and spend money. Some people might spend money in local supermarkets but not in the cafes or shops of the sea.people say that these vans have parking spaces that could otherwise be used for a car carrying four people, which would cost more money and that these vehicles spoil the views.

“As councillors, we are coming under pressure from residents and businesses. It is important that this situation is resolved for everyone.” Both councilors said Morecambe Town Council is also looking at the issues and raising them with Lancaster County Council.

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