Overnight motorhome parking banned in Helmsley car park after issues of fires, litter and overcrowding divide the town

Motorhome owners were previously allowed to stay overnight at the Cleveland Way car park in Helmsley, and in 2017 the council provided six free spaces for passenger vehicles in an overflow area. There is now capacity for 15 motorhomes at the rear of the parking lot.

However, the permits have now been withdrawn following a town-splitting row and issues such as overcrowding, reckless starting of fires, irresponsible waste disposal and even people camping in tents on the parking.

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Tourism business owners are in favor of the parking arrangement as it allows visitors to stay longer, while many residents have complained of anti-social behavior.

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The full statement from Ryedale Council reads: “Overnight parking for motorhomes, camper vans and any other vehicles used for overnight sleeping is suspended in the Cleveland Way car park in Helmsley from the end of July.

“Ryedale District Council used to allow a limited number of vehicles to park in the rear part of the car park. However, from July 30, 2022, no vehicles will be allowed to park in any of car parks for the purpose of sleeping at night to a number of security issues raised.

“A full review of alternative options will take place during the suspension, to see if there is a way to address security issues and to explore improved ways of managing the facility. The suspension will also allow Ryedale’s board to take take into account the views of all stakeholders.

The council’s director of places and resources, Phillip Spurr, added: ‘During the summer of 2021 a number of complaints were received about too many campervan parking lots, motorhomes

parking too close together, problems with fires and barbecues on site and emptying of waste from vehicles in the wooded area and in the public sewers. All of these issues pose a risk to the safety of those staying on site and our citizens, so we have met with several partners to address the issues raised. We have put in place a number of measures to calm the situation.

Measures taken to address the issues included self-locking doors installed on public toilets, signage to delineate safe parking distances and additional security patrols to prevent motorhomes from parking in coach-only bays.

Mr Spurr added: “However, after a review, we still find that a small number of people who use the car park for overnight stays do not follow the rules. We even had reports of visitors camping in tents in the green space surrounding the parking lot. The questions we are asked are dangerous and risky and it is our responsibility to address them. They have an impact on the health and safety of visitors and our citizens, which is why we are stopping the use of parking for sleeping at night to allow for a full review.

“We have done what we can to resolve the situation and understand that it is likely the behavior of a minority of users that is causing these issues, but we believe the risks presented by this behavior are too great. While the suspension is in progress, we would like to reassure motorhome and motorhome drivers that they are advised to park in the back of the parking lot or in the central part of the parking lot during the day.

“We appreciated that there are a range of views on providing overnight parking with the aim of sleeping overnight in the car park and all will be catered for. We take our responsibility to citizens, businesses and visitors seriously and want to ensure that we provide the best possible facilities and environment for everyone.

The car park is divided into three individual sections; the front section is reserved for cars, the central area contains coach bays and standard and larger size parking bays, and the rear section is made up of standard size parking bays where overnight parking for motorhomes was allowed.

To facilitate the closure, Ryedale District Council will take the following actions:-

1) The installation of temporary signage throughout the car park to alert users of the

suspension of overnight parking from July 30.

2) From July 30, coercive measures will be taken for anyone using the car park to stay

at night and patrols by enforcement officers will be extended into the evening.

3) Barriers will be installed over the next few weeks that will prevent access to the center and

rear parts of the car park between 6:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.

4) A height restriction barrier will be installed at the entrance to the front section of the car

park therefore it remains open and accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week but will prevent access to motorhomes and

5) The delay between the start of closing and the installation of the gates and the barrier will be

give users the ability to move vehicles without being locked in while shifting

the rules of use are communicated.

6) New signage will be installed in the car park to indicate which car park will be available where

7) Motorhomes and Motorhomes will continue to be able to use the car park during the day and

the board has provided wider/longer spaces to accommodate them more easily.

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