Traffic review for motorhome camping

Motorhome parking overnight in the Beachfront area remains an issue
Motorhome parking overnight in the Beachfront area remains an issue

Aberdeenshire Council is to undertake a traffic review of Stonehaven’s Beachfront area in a bid to tackle overnight motorhome camping.

Residents of the Cowie area are fed-up with the volume of unofficial stopovers on Beach Road and the Beachfront which, they claim, could seriously hamper emergency access during the night.

Last December, Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee agreed to receive a report on potential options to rectify the issue.

But when they met on Tuesday, they heard there was still no firm solution and were asked to either approve a wider traffic management review for the areas, or agree no further action.

Local roads manager David Armitage said initially an option to allocate the leisure centre car-park for overnight stays for up to five motorhomes appeared to be a strong contender.

However, fire chiefs advised that if the council was to promote a car park as an overnight stop for motorhomes, they would consider it to be a campsite and would require necessary compliance.

Mr Armitage recommended that a traffic review of the area was the best option to look at ways of improving the use of the roads.

Councillor Sarah Dickinson wanted to see ‘No overnight parking’ signs brought back.

But Mr Armitage said that while it was not offence to park overnight on a public road, it was against the law to encamp or sleep in the vehicle overnight.

He also stressed there was no legal legislation for the council to put up signage to tackle that particular issue.

Councillor Colin Pike voiced frustration at the time and cost of the investigation work without any hard data on the scale of the problem. He wanted to see information before any firm committee decision.

However, Councillor Sandy Wallace was prepared to let the issue go for another year and, if it was found to have caused further inconvenience, then members could make a decision balancing that against the benefits the motorhome visitors brought to the wider community.

Councillors voted 7-4 in favour of a traffic management review for the affected area.