Tag Archives: Tiree 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.

Camper Van Public Meeting

Camper van drivers were accused of living in “Never, Never land” when they arrive off the ferry taking them to a Scottish island.

they end up in a Never, Never land

Andrew Montgomery, the Duke of Argyll’s estate factor, claimed the owners of the vans and other types of motor homes, break the law by selflessly driving over valuable grazing land. He told a public meeting on the Isle of Tiree:
“When the drivers arrive here they end up in a Never, Never land and think they can do what they like. They will have to be educated that Tiree is part of the rest of Britain and they should respect the same laws as they do back home.”

The meeting, attended by about 80 local crofters and other residents, heard how the van owners damage the land and shoreline dunes by driving over unfenced areas to get to the beaches. John Bowler, chairman of the local Access group set up to protect the fabric of the island, accused the van drivers of emptying their toilets on open ground. He said:
“We don’t want to ban the vans, but we must find a balance to stop the damage being done to the island. To allow unlimited access to the island is unsustainable as the increased traffic has already impacted on natural environment, water, sewage, waste and transport systems.”
He said there had been a 154 per cent increase in the number of vans to the islands, including Barra, Coll and the Uists, this summer because the ferry fares had been halved by the introduction of the Road Equivalent Scheme.

The small camp sites had been full along with two local parking areas. The meeting voted overwhelmingly, with only three people against, to introduce a scheme to restrict the vans arriving to those that prebooked an overnight parking site. The scheme would allow locals to provide parking for a small fee and enable the van drivers to empty their toilets in their sceptic tanks. The drivers would not be allowed to travel on the ferries when booking with Caledonian MacBrayne unless they had prebooked a site.

Councillor Mary Jean Devon, of Argyll and Bute Council, told the meeting that other islands, Colonsay and Iona, had schemes to restrict vehicle numbers to safeguard the fabric there. Alison Spence, Tiree’s full time Access officer, told the meeting that she counted 20 camper vans parked at one of the island’s beaches that day, but could not say how many more were elsewhere on the 12-mile-long by five-mile-broad island.

The meeting also agreed to hold a postal vote of local residents on the scheme to “manage” the flow of camper vans to the island – population 800 – and which is owned by the Argyll Estates.

-Ian Sharp