Tag Archives: camping

MOTOR HOME OVERNIGHT PARKING SITES ON TIREE

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After public consultation, the votes are in on implementing a scheme for motor homes/campervans visiting Tiree, which would ensure that the number of these vehicles arriving on the Island would be restricted to the number of overnight parking sites available for them.

The public vote found an overwhelming majority in favour of this scheme.
The aim of the scheme is to provide designated legal overnight parking places away from the sensitive machair land. June and July 2009 saw a 154% increase in the number of these units coming to Tiree, compared to the same months in 2008 and this trend is expected to continue next year.

The erosion caused by the increase in vehicles is visible across the island and the overnight parking scheme is part of an island-wide access programme, which aims to prevent further deterioration of these sites.

Included in this programme are plans to provide improved access tracks and parking, better facilities and improved signage/ interpretation in order to improve the visitor experience whilst at the same time protecting the islands natural and cultural heritage.
The aim is to provide enough designated legal overnight parking places for all motorhomes and campervans visiting the island. To achieve this we are looking for the co-operation of crofters and land managers on Tiree to provide suitable sites on fenced croft land. This would give crofters the opportunity to generate extra income over the summer months by receiving a nightly fee from the customer.

Argyll and Bute Council planning department have stated that a crofter can site three vehicles per croft between April and October without seeking planning permission. All that is required would be a dry level area of ground with easy road access, clear of farm implements and livestock. It is planned that a central waste disposal and water collection site will be available to visitors, as it is not feasible to have these facilities on every croft. It is also hoped that all reservations would be made through a central booking system on the island.

If you are interested in providing an overnight parking site and would like to discuss the matter further please contact Alison Spence on 07765449487 or email accesstrd@tireebroadband.com. If unavailable, please leave your contact details.

41 attended Public meeting on Tuesday 20th October

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Tiree Access Steering Group put forward a proposal to the residents of Tiree on a way forward for providing sites
for the increasing number of visiting campervans/motorhomes. The meeting was chaired by Cllr Mary Jean Devon
with an introduction by John Bowler.

We know from Cal Mac that there was a 50% increase in Campervans/motorhomes in October ‘08 – May 09 on the
previous year and a 154% increase in June/July 09 compared with the same period 08.
The key problem is the lack of facilities resulting in vehicles parking illegally off-road on unfenced ground causing
erosion to the machair and dunes, most of which are designated under European law for their wildlife interest and we
have a duty of care to look after these. Disposal of sewage also became an increasing problem in these areas.

The proposal being put forward is that a number of sites for up to 3 campervans/motorhomes will be set up on crofts
and farms in time for next year. Provision will also be made for the disposal of sewage and grey water. The idea is
for sites to be booked centrally and a reference number provided before a ferry ticket can be purchased.

Q: Why is the increasing number of camper vans and motor-homes thought to be an issue?
A:We like to welcome our visitors and give them the best possible experience on Tiree. At present the only facility we
have is the campsite which was full all summer. Damage to the grazing and environmentally designated sites has
meant that campervans, vans etc are being asked to move on which is making visitors feel unwelcome – this situation
needs to be addressed by providing appropriate facilities.

Q:Why does it matter where they park? Restrictions make people feel unwelcome.
A: We need to protect the environment. The Access Officer has had many conversations over the busy season. Most
people would like an authorised site where they are welcomed and would be happy to pay a small nightly fee.
Feedback from visitors is that most are respectful of the fragility of the environment and support responsible parking.

Q: If there are authorised sites provided then why do they have to pre-book?
A: The Pre-booking system will allow numbers of vehicles coming to be limited to number of sites available.

Q: Many van users will sleep on designated sites but what about the daytime?
A: This comes under the broader issue of beach access which applies to all vehicles– the Access Group will continue
to encourage responsible access and work at providing authorised access tracks and car parks.

Q. How many sites will there be?
A. There is strong interest from several crofters to provide sites. We would like to provide as many sites as vehicles
requiring them. There is not thought to be a need at present to limit the number of sites.

Q: What happens if you’re coming with a campervan to reside with family or friends?
A: You would be allocated a special reference number.

Q: Who will the money go to?
A: The person providing the site with a small percentage going to the run the booking system.

Q: What about panel vans? Why are campervans and motor-homes being singled out?
A: They will not be ignored. If they park in unauthorized areas they will be moved on to authorised sites

Q: What will be done if people continue to park in unauthorised areas after being asked to move?
A: It is an offence to drive off the public road unless using designated tracks and sites and if people refuse to move to
authorised sites then the police would have to become involved.