Tommy's Ranting again...............

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Tommy's Ranting again...............

Post by Tommy-Darcy on Fri May 17, 2013 5:16 pm

This is an e-mail I have just sent to the council for Hastings and Rye (I presume Kent council or East Sussex council sorry for the error)

My wife and I are on a grand tour of the coast of Britain in our high top AutoSleeper campervan. We were greatly looking forward to reaching the South East as there is so much history to discover. This morning we drove to Hastings full of excitement (we are 50 & 60 yrs old) and were oh so disappointed that we could not find anywhere to park. We followed the car park signs only to find they either led to multi story carparks with height restrictions or to carparks with height barriers preventing us from entering. The roadside parking areas were all taken or for permit holders only. So we gave up in the end, and decided to visit Rye.............the same applied there too. The large carpark by the station did have a couple of spaces but as these are quite narrow other car owners had strayed over the lines meaning there was no way we could get our van into any of them. So again we gave up and continued to our overnight campsite without having seen Rye.
Now I understand that the reason for height barriers is probably to prevent those of the "Travelling Community" from setting up camp in these towns and villages, but look at it from a tourists perspective. We have a copy of the "Rye inside and out" booklet and it looks very interesting, shame it is only open for people with small vehicles.
Just think of all the income the council and local businesses are missing out on by preventing motorhomes from parking up. The prices charged at pay n display machines could go towards paying people to open the height barriers in the morning and then closing them at night.
We have seen only half of the points of interest we were so looking forward to visiting since we left Dartmouth in Devon, but it really is getting beyond a joke. We have wasted gallons of diesel getting to places only to find we have to leave without seeing anything...........Grrrrrr............Perhaps sign posts on all major routes into barricaded townships should state for example "Hastings this way (except for motorhomes you are not welcome)". Or how about introducing a park and ride service, parking out of town in a large carpark for larger towns such as Hastings.
Regards
Ian Hughes

tap_fingers

On a happier note,our Britstops book came today and we are trying one out tomorrow nr Dimchurch smile!


Last edited by Tommy-Darcy on Fri May 17, 2013 7:38 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Tommy's Ranting again...............

Post by Dutto on Fri May 17, 2013 5:58 pm

Ian,

lol4 lol4 lol4 lol4

Just love it! Nothing better than an irate Brit ............... allthumbz allthumbz

............. although I have to say that this is why we carry bikes. dum dum

It has just this minute started raining in Skegness; which is actually an improvement on the bitterly cold Northerly wind that has been chilling us to the bone as we cycled around the area! innocent

Best regards and see you soon (especially if the rest of England is shutting you out!)
drinksallround
Ian

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Re: Tommy's Ranting again...............

Post by dencol on Fri May 17, 2013 7:02 pm

writing to councils seems to have become one of my campervan hobbies smile!

Normally goes. Find a height barrier, write to council, ignored, write asking that they have the decency to reply, answering their reply with observations about their reasons for a height barrier (for example its easy to get rid of people from car parks -fine, clamp then tow away any aggro call the police, From personal experience you turn up with a tow truck + Police and they leave. Its the private land and waste land that causes the problem).

wish I had a camera on a visit to Scotland few years ago. Some of the towns and villages have car park direction sign with the standard car/coach symbols but some actually included a motorhome symbol now that forward thinking.

Best of luck with your letter
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Re: Tommy's Ranting again...............

Post by Guest on Fri May 17, 2013 7:12 pm

Hi Ian (Tommy)

Living in Kent, Hastings and Rye are in East Sussex. up!

I do take your point though, badly signed and too many height restrictions.

Let us know if you found it any different in Kent. scratch head

Mike D
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Re: Tommy's Ranting again...............

Post by Blossom on Fri May 17, 2013 7:29 pm

Hi
I live in Dymchurch. I will look out for you. The Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway passes by the end of my garden. As a matter of interest, where is the Britstop site you will be using?

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Re: Tommy's Ranting again...............

Post by Tommy-Darcy on Fri May 17, 2013 7:35 pm

1b449 wrote:Hi Ian (Tommy)

Living in Kent, Hastings and Rye are in East Sussex. up!

I do take your point though, badly signed and too many height restrictions.

Let us know if you found it any different in Kent. scratch head

Mike D

Oops sorry, but as there also seem to be very few signs indicating that you are entering a new county it is really difficult to know where the hell you are and our AA road atlas doesn't have any counties on it either tap_fingers

By the way, passed some "Travellers" pitched up by a roundabout near to Bovington camp in Dorset (?) and as you say it is this sort of place they go for not inner town ruddy carparks !!! censored!

Must admit to being tempted to pitch up on some of the roundabouts, nice flat pitch with flower beds lol4

Ian (Dutto), will be there sooner than we expected confused3

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Re: Tommy's Ranting again...............

Post by Tommy-Darcy on Fri May 17, 2013 8:27 pm

Blossom wrote:Hi
I live in Dymchurch. I will look out for you. The Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway passes by the end of my garden. As a matter of interest, where is the Britstop site you will be using?

Haguelands Farm Village. Hope it is ok, reads good in the book and the chap I spoke to sounds decent enough up!

Intend to visit Dungeness, then to try and find the "Sound Mirrors" on Romney Marsh before visiting Dymchurch then onward to Haguelands smile!

Would be good to say hello to a fellow ASOF'er wave


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Re: Tommy's Ranting again...............

Post by Blossom on Fri May 17, 2013 9:07 pm

Hi
That all sounds good. If you don't fancy Haguelands when you get there (no reason why you shouldn't) you are welcome to overnight in my drive which is about 5 mins from the village center.
Good carparking in the centre of the village as well - no height barriers.
Several fish and chip type places and a couple of pubs.
Let me know if I can help at all. up!

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Re: Tommy's Ranting again...............

Post by Tommy-Darcy on Fri May 17, 2013 9:37 pm

Should be in the village around mid afternoon. Thanks for the offer of the drive if Haguelands doesn't match up up!

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Re: Tommy's Ranting again...............

Post by Cello297 on Sat May 18, 2013 7:40 pm

Tommy,

I'm sure you will find BritStops give you excellent value. agree3 We are now members and have used them several times, with more to come over the next month - heading north to Orkney for the Folk festival, family reunion and more.

Just a word to the wise, we are asked not to publish in open forum the addresses of the recommended sites, as everyone and his dog will turn up at them and good old BritStops will go out of business confused3 - not really good for anyone!

On the subject of Council Car Parking, I'm right with you. best_friends Perhaps we should all be putting across to our local Councils the idea of opening Aires, like the ones in France. lol4 Though this would be laughed out of chamber if just requested directly, an approach via the local Chamber of Commerce alittlesecret with an explanation of the benefits to local businesses just could pay dividends. We could even refer them to the few already on the go in the UK - listed in, dare I say it, BritStops book - for recommendation. As if I hadn't enough to do in my retirement, I could just offer to make a presentation to those showing an interest. Thoughts? wave

Shane
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Re: Tommy's Ranting again...............

Post by Tommy-Darcy on Mon May 20, 2013 4:00 pm

Cello297 wrote:Tommy,

I'm sure you will find BritStops give you excellent value. agree3 We are now members and have used them several times, with more to come over the next month - heading north to Orkney for the Folk festival, family reunion and more.

Just a word to the wise, we are asked not to publish in open forum the addresses of the recommended sites, as everyone and his dog will turn up at them and good old BritStops will go out of business confused3 - not really good for anyone!

On the subject of Council Car Parking, I'm right with you. best_friends Perhaps we should all be putting across to our local Councils the idea of opening Aires, like the ones in France. lol4 Though this would be laughed out of chamber if just requested directly, an approach via the local Chamber of Commerce alittlesecret with an explanation of the benefits to local businesses just could pay dividends. We could even refer them to the few already on the go in the UK - listed in, dare I say it, BritStops book - for recommendation. As if I hadn't enough to do in my retirement, I could just offer to make a presentation to those showing an interest. Thoughts? wave


Shane

OOPS, never thought about publishing the name on here, wrist slapped won't do that again happyno

We have stayed at 2 Britstops now and think they are fantastic. We are already well on the way to getting our money back in overnight stops. We are breaking our direction by going in land a bit and visiting places we were not intending to just because there are a couple of Britstops close by smile!

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Re: Tommy's Ranting again...............

Post by Dutto on Mon May 20, 2013 10:34 pm

Hi there,

I remember reading the Britstops details two years ago when we bought "Petal" and the ethos of the system just didn't sit right with us.

In the Code of Conduct they state "Remember you are not a paying client but a guest. So please take some time to have a look at what your host has for sale. Details of what's on offer can be found in their entry in the guide."

We much prefer to be "Paying Clients" and not feel beholden to anyone! wave

This is why we like the ACSI and Camping Cheques systems where you know how much it will cost and what you are getting before you even arrive on the site. allthumbz

Best regards,
drinksallround
Ian

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Re: Tommy's Ranting again...............

Post by Tommy-Darcy on Thu May 23, 2013 11:31 pm

Received a reply tonight to my original e-mail.

"Thank you for your email. I am very sorry that you weren't able to find anywhere to park in Hastings or Rye.

Unfortunately we have had problems with travellers using some of our car parks in the past, hence the use of height barriers.

We do have a number of camping and caravanning sites in the area which will accept camper vans.

They can also park 'on road' along the length of our seafront, indeed, the western end of our seafront has a lot of free parking available. Our country park car park also has an area that is suitable for motorhomes.

I do hope that if you return you are able to find somewhere suitable to stop, as Hastings & 1066 Country is definitely worth visiting!

With best wishes,"

To which I replied

"Thanks for your reply, but as a complete stranger to the area we have no idea where to find said car parks suitable for motorhomes. Perhaps consideration could be made in signage pointing owners in the right direction (country park carpark? Where is it?). Also the car park signs giving indications of how many spaces are available in certain areas made no suggestion that height would be an issue ie in the multi story car parks. We followed one and had to do a 5 point turn in the limited entrance when we realised we were about to attempt to enter one, a nightmare especially when you have frustrated car drivers gesticulating their disgust at being held up for a couple of minutes !!!

I do appreciate your problems regarding travellers, however as law abiding motorhome owners we do feel that we are suffering due to prejudice by ALL councils, and I am sure many other motorhome owners would agree with this. Many camping and caravan sites are a couple of miles away from the nearest bus stops, and not all of us are fit and able enough to walk this distance!

Seriously, consider the Park and Ride system which works very well in other areas. I am sure that the local chamber of commerce would agree that you would benefit from the many motorhome tourists from all over Europe who would love to visit the area.

Regards

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Re: Tommy's Ranting again...............

Post by Dutto on Thu May 23, 2013 11:49 pm

Tommy-Darcy wrote:................

............. as law abiding motorhome owners we do feel that we are suffering due to prejudice by ALL councils, and I am sure many other motorhome owners would agree with this. .........................

Oh, too true. Even us lawbreakers agree with sentiments like that! allthumbz hugegrins allthumbz

In view of the dearth of other reports can we assume that you are now hunkered down somewhere with your computer, a wi-fi connection and a glass or two of alcohol of choice, composing and sending acrimonious emails to innocent Council Staff, until after the Bank Holiday? allthumbz

I must admit that with the weather we have had today it seems like a good way to spend a day or two! rainyday sun rainyday

Keep up the good work and keep looking up when you go into a car park! Whistle1

Best regards,
drinksallround
Ian

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Re: Tommy's Ranting again...............

Post by Tommy-Darcy on Fri May 24, 2013 9:47 am

We are in a camp field behind a thatched pub in Althorne Essex until Tuesday.....................get the bank holiday out of the way and we will be off again. Not too far though as there are a lot of places of interest around Ipswich we want to visit. up!

Whilst there we have a friend from back home who wants to meet up for a couple of nights, plus some friends in Cambridge who we will hopefully meet up with too drinksallround

If I keep looking up I will probably hit a blooming bollard lol4

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