Lack of enforcement will lead to “free for all” on the West Cliff

Campervan users enjoying breakfast in Royal Crescent Gardens
Campervan users enjoying breakfast in Royal Crescent Gardens

Ineffective signage supposed to deter motorhomes from parking overnight in Whitby will lead to a “free for all” according to fed-up residents on the West Cliff.

Residents have complained to the Whitby Gazette after one of the hottest weekends of the year so far brought visitors to Whitby in their droves.

Motorhomes, which are not supposed to park up between the hours of 11pm and 7am in certain areas, were lined up along North Promenade and some owners were even spotted having breakfast next to their vehicles in Royal Crescent Gardens.

Local resident Philip Dunn said: “They had been there from Thursday night to Monday morning and had not moved for all that period. There was also another one in front of them that were obviously some friends.

“My wife saw them at breakfast time pouring something from a container onto the grass. They had been sitting there on their chairs and had a dog running around as well.

“The campervans must be about £35,000 worth of investment but the thing that really annoys me is the fact that the council has set these regulations but it is not being policed because the traffic wardens are not there. Over that period I counted about eight of them breaching the regulations.

“There were taking up the spaces of four cars, they are road users I know that but because they are there for four or five days it means nobody else can get in or out”.

His wife Kathryn added: “We know people like to have a picnic, sit on rugs and enjoy themselves but it looked like they were setting up camp there and this is what we were worried about - if word gets around that it is not being policed it is going to be a free for all.”

Last year the borough council revamped the signage after it was revealed there was a loophole in the legislation which prohibited sleeping in vehicles overnight.

Road markings were repainted to try and prevent motorhomes parking on the West Cliff, especially in busy summer periods such as Folk Week and Regatta, while options for a designated area for motorhomes was explored but not progressed.

A spokesperson for the council said: “Out of hour enforcement patrols have been in place since the implementation of the prohibition of motor caravan parking on a number of our car parks.

“In relation to the car parks in Whitby, patrols are restricted to two mornings per week, one of which is always a Sunday. The patrols have resulted in the issue of 22 penalty charge notices (PCNs) since April this year.

“Additional patrols are planned for upcoming busy periods including the regatta and Goth Festival weeks and during the August bank holiday when we are aware that there will be a larger influx of motor caravans.

“Between 5am and 6am on Sunday 14 July, one motor caravan was issued with a PCN on West Cliff car park and four PCNs were issued to motor caravans on North Terrace.

“We will continue to deal with enforcement of motor caravans on a targeted basis, but it will not be every day due to staff numbers and the resources that have to be put into patrolling existing restrictions elsewhere in the town and the borough.”