Pressure mounts for council to clamp down as camper vans swamp Morecambe promenade

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Morecambe’s historic seafront is being spoiled by a plague of motorhomes, camper vans and even ‘vans with mattresses chucked in the back’, according to those living nearby.

Instead of using local campsites, they say visitors are exploiting lax rules on the promenade – which is being clogged by scores of ‘bigger and bigger’ vehicles.

Michael Dickson Glen who lives in the Thornton Road area said: “I bought a retirement apartment with a view overlooking Morecambe Bay. Its a beautiful area and people pay a premium for the views. I’m paying the top rate of council tax to live here. But there are camper vans and other vans parked all along the promenade, blocking the view.

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“Why don’t they go to proper camp sites? It only costs £12 to get hooked-up and have proper facilities like showers. I’ve seen people disposing toilet waste down drains on the street. But it’s the main road with Morecambe beach just below, They’re very clever about parking near drains. I’ve seen that happen three or four times.

Camper vans and other vehicles on Morecambe promenade. Picture: Councillor Paul Hart.Camper vans and other vehicles on Morecambe promenade. Picture: Councillor Paul Hart.
Camper vans and other vehicles on Morecambe promenade. Picture: Councillor Paul Hart.

“I’ve asked them why don’t they go to camp-sites? I never get a proper answer. They say their vehicles are taxed and insured. Or they tell me to f*** off. These are people in the 50s-age group who should know better.”

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

Resident Suzanne Smith, of Marine Road, said: “This is about parking in Marine Road particularly outside where I live. I used to live elsewhere in Morecambe but moved to my current house 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.

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“Right through the summer we experienced a white wall of motorhomes and disrespect from the owners. It’s not good for residents’ mental health.

“The owners of these huge fancy vans are putting very little into the local economy. They spend very little but get great views across Morecambe Bay for days. There is also litter, maintenance work, water and effluent.

“I have seen some effluent go straight down onto the beach. Unfortunately it was not an isolated incident. But by the time the environmental department staff arrive, the vehicles have typically left.”

Margaret Pattison, Labour city and county councillor, said: “Obviously we want visitors coming to Morecambe but residents want some controls put on the promenade parking and to deal with overnight problems. We need proper places for camper vans and motor-homes to go – perhaps a new car park?

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“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 really dangerous.

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