Ryedale District Council have announced that the popular provision of motorhome overnight parking at the Cleveland Way Car Park in Helmsley is to be suspended.
They say that as of 30 July 2022 no vehicles will be allowed to park in any of the car parks for the purpose of overnight sleeping due to a number of safety issues being raised.
Although this seems drastic, they also say that a full review of alternative options will take place while the suspension is underway, to see if there is any way of addressing the safety issues and to explore improved ways of managing the facility. The suspension will also allow Ryedale District Council to take on board the views of all stakeholders.
Phillip Spurr, Director of Place and Resources for Ryedale District Council explained: “During summer 2021 a number of complaints were received around too many motorhomes parking, motorhomes being parked too close together, issues with fires and BBQs on site and the emptying of waste from vehicles into the wooded area and down public drains. All these issues pose a risk to the safety of those staying on the site and our citizens, so we met with a number of partners to tackle the issues raised. We introduced a number of measures to ease the situation.”
“However, following a review, we are still finding that a small number of people who are using the car park for overnight stays are not complying with the rules. We even had reports of visitors camping in tents in the green space surrounding the car park. The issues raised to us are dangerous and hazardous and it is our responsibility to tackle them. They impact on the health and safety of visitors and our citizens, so that’s why we’re stopping the use of the car park for overnight sleeping to allow a full review to take place.
“We have done what we can to resolve the situation and appreciate that it is probably the behaviour of a minority of users causing these issues, however we feel that the risks presented by this behaviour are too great. While the suspension is underway, we would like to reassure motorhome and campervan drivers that they are welcome to park at the rear of the car park or in the central section of the car park during the day.
“We appreciated there are a range of views about the provision of overnight parking for the purpose of overnight sleeping in the car park and all will be taken into account. We take our responsibility to citizens, businesses, and visitors seriously and want to ensure we offer the best possible facilities and environment for all.”
We are certainly aware of, and have witnessed, abuse of the privilege to be allowed to park overnight here, it is a shame that, as so often is the case, the actions of a few means that another valuable overnight parking place may be lost.
However, we are encouraged that there seems to be a willingness to find a solution that will enable motorhome overnight stays at Helmsley to be reintroduced, although we understand that this is unlikely to be progressed until the new North Yorkshire Council starts in April 2023.
We will certainly be keeping a close watch on the situation and will publish news of developments.