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Thread: NC500 & Campervans

  1. #21

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    Broadly speaking there are two groups of camper-vanners. There are those who wish to wild camp and will only stay on a campsite as a last resort. The second group do the opposite - prefer campsites and will only wild camp if there is no alternative. Currently, the law in Scotland allows wild-camping, provided it is not on private property or in breach of local bye-laws, ie overnight stays in local authority car parks. I think it would be fair to say that since campsites generally provide facilities for all forms of waste disposal that the group we need to be concerned about most are the irresponsible wild campers.

    I said in an earlier post that education is the key. I think maybe I should revise that. We are not going to be able to stop people from wild camping so what we need to do is manage the situation better. Anyone who has ever been to France will know that practically every village (in popular tourist areas) has an Aire de Service (Service Area). These vary wildly in what they have to offer. Some are basically just a waste disposal facility, which every passing camper-vanner can use, whilst others offer overnight pitches and even electric hook-ups. In many, the service offered is free in others you have to pay to access some or all of what is offered. The point is, that in France they have learned to manage the situation. Some popular spots are almost over-run by camper vans during peak season. To avoid the chaos this causes the Aires de Services system provides places where camper-vanners can park, dispose of waste and sometimes even spend the night. These Aires de Service are rarely if ever staffed. If payment is required is it usually via a machine. And all the while the locals are not driven demented by irresponsible camper-vanners blocking narrow streets and having waste disposed of at the roadside.

    I know there are some plans to introduce some Aires on the NC500. The more the better as far as I am concerned. The outlay costs can be recouped by charging (modestly) for the services provided. The system has made a big difference in France. I feel we in Scotland could learn from it.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Highlands
    Posts
    3,169

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    Corky
    Im a bit confused as to why you would class all wild campers as irresponsible?
    I would say the majority of wild campers are very responsible, with just the minority tarring them with a bad name

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alrock View Post
    Not going to happen, they can't even find the money to fix the potholes.



    Education system over here doesn't work like that over here, can't buy your way through school.
    BUY? It would be a lesson in Social Responsibility!
    And how much would it cost to fund a few students........it works everywhere else in The World!

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by mi16 View Post
    Corky
    I’m a bit confused as to why you would class all wild campers as irresponsible?
    I would say the majority of wild campers are very responsible, with just the minority tarring them with a bad name

    That's not what I meant to say. Sorry if I created that impression. The sentence would have been better as follows:-

    "....the group we need to be concerned about most are those wild campers who act irresponsibly.".

  5. #25

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    I think that the solution you outline is the way to go, definitely. It would save some people using the old herring buildings as toilets which is what has been happening again this year.

  6. #26

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    On this thread there have been many good suggestions of how to manage tourism.

    Unfortunately you have to take in to account the main stumbling block - The Highland Council, who are very reluctant to invest any funding in anything in the North of Scotland or help in any other way.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    1,736

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Horseman View Post
    BUY? It would be a lesson in Social Responsibility!
    And how much would it cost to fund a few students........it works everywhere else in The World!

    Yes Buy... We don't have a matriculation system here where you either pass or fail school, so you can't make up for poor school work by obtaining "Credits" for doing other things. Each subject is seperate & you either pass or fail in each of them, no minimum requirement for overall school performance.
    We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine....
    And the machine is bleeding to death."


  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alrock View Post
    Yes Buy... We don't have a matriculation system here where you either pass or fail school, so you can't make up for poor school work by obtaining "Credits" for doing other things. Each subject is seperate & you either pass or fail in each of them, no minimum requirement for overall school performance.
    When I was at Lybster School I was on the Road Safety Committee.
    When I went to Wick High, I joined the ROC..(Royal Observer Corps) sometimes sitting in a Bunker 30 feet underground at Latheron Cemetery. It had a Bomb Power Indicator with ‘flash paper’) that had to be changed regularly, and silhouettes of Russian Aircraft to compare with planes overhead, during the day. Actually we were paid a small amount for our contribution.........
    Whatever happened to the initiates of People and their Mentors.

    Perhaps your comments at the bottom of your Posts really mean something... We are trapped in the Belly of a Horrible Machine.....etc.
    Last edited by The Horseman; 19-Jun-21 at 15:54.

  9. #29

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    Another thing about the Aires de Service network in France is that there is usually a sign, as you enter a town, indicating there is an Aire available. This means there is no excuse for not using it. The precise locations of these Aires are also available on phone apps and in book form. It is, therefore, perfectly possible to plan a journey knowing that you are going to have access to waste disposal facilities. Another benefit is that camper-vanners may stop for a while and spend money in local businesses. Surely that is preferable to them driving on, past a town, to a place where they illicitly dump toilet waste.

  10. #30

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    Had an interesting conversation with an English campervan driver recently. He has been driving campervans for many, many years. He told me with much frustration in his voice how sick he was of those that hire camper vans without a clue of how to drive them and how ignorant they are regards the highway code etc. He complained about how they can not get to grips with the size of the vans and how selfish they are. He was recently hit by a passing hire van who did not stop to see if there had been any damage to either van. He was concerned that camper vanners would be getting a bad name due to the hirers, I politely informed him they already have.

    Says it all really.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    1,736

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    They need to stop people driving on a car licence, they should have to sit a test before being let loose on the roads.
    We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine....
    And the machine is bleeding to death."


  12. #32

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    As an outsider, who is planning on starting a business in Caithness, this is an interesting thread to follow. Although I don't have strong feeling for rental camper vans, I did see some constructive comments by Horseman and Corky.

    I think indeed that the concerns expressed by many are valid, and should be heard. Having a background in helping people "change", I do agree that education is the way to go. Keep repeating, keep educating. Handing out information leaflets in person is much more effective than just providing them in central locations. The personal hand-out makes the connection, and makes the message "real". In terms of the cost of this; As a local business in the tourism sector, I would not mind sponsoring such an activity. I think it would be very relevant to relate my business to such initiatives. It may not bring me any additional business, it will show however what, as a business, we stand for and care about.

    Road maintenance of course is a completely different topic. This is a completely different scale of funding.

    Anyway; if anyone would really be interested in launching such an awareness campaign, please keep me in the loop, as I am definitely willing to be part of it.

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