Provide more motorhome facilities - or miss out on tourists, it is warned
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Calls have been made for park and ride areas to be used to provide facilities for motorhome and caravan owners - or Norfolk could lose out on potential tourists.
Earlier this month North Norfolk District Council blamed increasing numbers of motorhome owners illegally "wild camping" in car parks across the area for blocking public toilets by incorrectly disposing of waste.
The council said while it had received requests to provide 'motorhome aire' facilities - stopover spots which are popular on the continent - it felt the needs of motorhome visitors could be met by the large number of campsites in the area.
However, motorhome owners have said the lack of facilities is costing the local tourism industry.
Jerry Bart, 69, from Honingham who has been a motorhome owner for 15 years, said the vehicles and their waste disposal needs should be accommodated for, just as boats on Norfolk's waterways are.
He said: "The whole point of having aires is that it's a health and safety benefit because what's happening in the UK is that you're forcing motorhome owners to use public toilets, or worse, and aires are not that expensive.
"I feel the whole attitude of local councils needs to change - we're all citizens of the UK."
He said park and ride areas on the edge of Norwich should be utilised to provide facilities to encourage motorhome owners to visit the city.
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When asked whether it had considered utilising the county's park and ride areas for aire facilities a spokesperson for Norfolk County Council said it encouraged people looking for camping facilities to use one of "the many excellent camping sites already available across the county".
But Pete Waters, executive director of Visit East of England, said: "Norfolk and the wider region are currently missing out on 400,000 opportunities to bring more visitors to the area. That’s the number of motorhomers in the UK but they don’t think to visit here because of the lack of facilities and organisation.
"We’re really missing a trick, particularly as motorhomers will travel any time, so helping us deliver a year-round visitor economy.
"I know the Campaign for Real Aires are keen to work with local businesses and authorities to create aires and service points in the area and we’d very much support that."