The increase in campervans, caravans and motorhomes travelling across Counties Mayo & Sligo, especially along the Wild Atlantic Way routes and particularly since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, have raised concerns due to lack of sufficient facilities to accommodate these mobile leisure tourists.
Both Midwest Radio in Mayo and Ocean FM in Sligo had featured this ongoing issue in recent weeks. There are a number of solutions suggested by listeners and local authority representatives.
Westport, County Mayo based Councillor Peter Flynn, who raised the issue at a recent Tourism Committee meeting of Mayo County Council, is proposing the introduction of ‘Aires de Service’ – as per continental Europe, and some other parts of Ireland – is a service facility where these mobile leisure vehicle users can empty waste water, refill with fresh water, and recharge batteries if required.
Peter stated to Midwest Radio News said that these motorhome stopover facilities should be placed at different locations around the county and called on the local authority to investigate the matter further, for this new niche market.
“For a moderate fee, tokens could be purchased by these campervan users at a shop or service station nearby to avail of this service, which will also give an economic boost to the area,” he said.
A campervan owner featured on Ocean FM criticised the lack of facilities for campervans in County Sligo. On the subject matter, the Chairperson of Sligo Tourism, said that while a review is underway, a balance needs to be struck in relation to such tourism.
A valid suggestion came in from another contributor on the North West Today programme. It was to approach the Equestrian Centres dotted around these coastlines to install these facilities at their venues. “They have the parking space, toilet areas and electric hook-up already in place and these touring visitors could bring more business to them during the summer. As the dedicated caravan parks are filling up rapidly around the country, this idea would provide an instant solution to the problem. What we don’t want is a huge increase of ‘Wild Campers’ parking up everywhere and anywhere, and in some cases leaving a trail of unwanted destruction behind them, especially at beaches and giving the sector a bad name. There is once such Campervan Stopover development at Hanley’s Equestrian Centre, Claremorris in Mayo, which works well.”
The public are being asked to make submissions into a review of parking by-laws in County Sligo, and on a proposal to ban overnight parking by camper vans in Mullaghmore, Rosses Point and Strandhill. Weekend campervan traffic in the Achill region is on the rise, with ‘Wild Camping’ prevalent. The debate over lack of facilities for camper vans continues….