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MartianTom
06-10-2011, 22:47
Hi folks,

If anyone's been following my travails on other threads, they'll know that I live in Herne Bay, Kent, and am in the middle of 'negotiations' with the local council over 2 inter-related issues.

1) Opposite where I live is the main seafront car park - a popular overnighting space which has no parking restrictions between 8 pm and 8 am. Motorhomes and campers often park over there because of the closeness both to the town centre and the beach. However, it's also the prime local spot for 'boy racers', who congregate there every evening and create a lot of noise and disruption (revving engines, doughnutting, shouting, beeping horns), often into the early hours. I have to call the police frequently to come and disperse them, though it doesn't make any difference. The council have told me that they're 'looking into' the problem - which has been there for years - but so far the most they've done is to put a speed bump down at the entrance. Well... you can guess how much of a deterrent that's been! None at all. Because of the noise, I often am forced to jump in the van and go off somewhere quiet to sleep. One of my main spots up until recently was a quiet cul-de-sac in nearby Whitstable.

However...

2) A single resident who lives close to the cul-de-sac complained about motorhome parking at the spot - so the council have posted a prohibition between 6.30 pm and 8.30 am! This despite the fact that, in all the time I'd been using the place, I noticed that no one caused any noise or disruption, and no one left any mess. From what I can discover, the objection was purely aesthetic and based on tabloid-inspired notions of 'travellers'!

So... I thought it might be good, if people in the area were interested, to have a 'meet' one night in the car park opposite me. Remember, there are no restrictions after 8 pm. Nothing about 'No Camping' or 'No Overnight Parking' or 'No Motorhomes or Campers'. Apart from the boy racers, the car park is virtually empty in the evenings. There's space for a good 50 or 60 vehicles. There are plenty of pubs, restaurants and take-aways nearby, and there are water taps all along the beach. With enough of us, we might be able to stop the usual nocturnal activities... at least for one night!

Anyone up for it? It could literally be any night at all, but Fridays and Saturdays are the worst... therefore the best!

Admin
07-10-2011, 09:03
Are you on about the "neptune" car park?

Randonneur
07-10-2011, 10:10
Sounds to me like that would be the quickest way to get the council putting the 'no overnight camping' notices and the height bars in.

And the boy racers and druggies would still have the place to themselves at night.

You need the police to do the job they're paid to do and keep the car park for the law abiding motorists.

MartianTom
07-10-2011, 10:13
Are you on about the "neptune" car park?

That's the one! You know it?

MartianTom
07-10-2011, 10:23
Sounds to me like that would be the quickest way to get the council putting the 'no overnight camping' notices and the height bars in.

And the boy racers and druggies would still have the place to themselves at night.

You need the police to do the job they're paid to do and keep the car park for the law abiding motorists.

I take your point....

...but that's precisely what the police are NOT doing. The council has recently introduced a 'dispersal zone' in the centre of the town, concentrated on William Street Car Park - which, I can assure you, is dead quiet at night. It makes no sense at all. I've asked them if they can extend it to include Neptune Car Park.

The thing is, although Neptune Car Park is currently unrestricted, very few motorhomers stay there very long because the noise drives them away. During the summer, I used to watch people turning up for the night, blissfully unaware of what was going to happen after dark. I've often gone over and warned the campers... only to see them drive off later in the evening when the banger-boys arrived.

The alternative, of course, is to be up-front about it and contact the council for permission to hold a one-night rally at the car park! I wonder how they'd feel about that. It could serve to show how responsible, clean and well-behaved we are - and if it gives the neighbours a one-night reprieve from screeching, revving and beeping, it might also be welcomed.

PS The council has informed me that they will never put any form of barrier at the car park because of the other essential users. It's the access area for the town's main jetty, so there are huge boat trailers that need to get in.

Randonneur
07-10-2011, 14:28
Having an organised meet with the blessing of the council sounds like a good idea.

You could get the local shops, pubs, take-aways on side by telling them how much money they would stand to gain over that period and you would also get permission to control access to the car park for that period, so no boy racers, just mad, bad, wildcampers!

You might also get a decent nights sleep!!!

channa
07-10-2011, 15:08
Sounds to me like that would be the quickest way to get the council putting the 'no overnight camping' notices and the height bars in.

And the boy racers and druggies would still have the place to themselves at night.

You need the police to do the job they're paid to do and keep the car park for the law abiding motorists.

Having disagreed in the past I agree with you , Motorhomers soft targets that can assist in the months quota etc .. Police doing their job dont stretch the imagination too far, almost weekend.

It seems to me all 'enforcement' agencies go the easy route so as to achive targets etc ....

I agrre though sometimes not sticking ones bonce too far above the parapet is far more effective than drawing attention to ones self




Channa

Randonneur
07-10-2011, 15:49
The thing with us owning motorhomes / camper vans is that the when the public see a load of these gathered together in one place apparently without permission, it is too easy to paint us with the gipsy / traveller label.

That is why I think a properly organised meet would be better than just turning up en-masse.

I think the police are probably stuck between a rock and a hard place in that they know the boy racers are anti-social but at least it's all in one place.

If there were enough motorhome meets on a regular basis in this area then the boy racers would get fed up and go somewhere else.

We could embarrass the boy racers by marking their burnouts / donuts etc with sheets with numbers on them like those tv shows!

You may also wish to emphasise the point that motorhomes parked there would also provide unofficial security for night fishermen and boat owners vehicles and trailers as used to be the case at Dawlish Warren before the travellers ruined it for us.

MartianTom
07-10-2011, 16:58
Having an organised meet with the blessing of the council sounds like a good idea.

You could get the local shops, pubs, take-aways on side by telling them how much money they would stand to gain over that period and you would also get permission to control access to the car park for that period, so no boy racers, just mad, bad, wildcampers!

You might also get a decent nights sleep!!!

It all sounds good. I'll chat to the Parking Enforcement guy at CCC on Monday - as we're now on first-name terms, he might be accommodating. Thing is, though, when I mentioned that I used to escape to Marine Crescent for an overnight, he said 'Not anymore, you won't!' quite forthrightly, which made me think he wasn't exactly sympathetic. But I think I can paint it so that he'll see the benefits - and if I can get some of the local shopkeepers on-side, it'll make a good case.

I'll keep you informed. Shame the winter's coming... but maybe next spring, as the fresh clumps of 206s, Saxos and Clios and coming into bloom...

Pollik
07-10-2011, 17:14
the council have posted a prohibition between 6.30 pm and 8.30 am

I didn't understand how this comment sits with your other comment that there are no "No motorhomes" sign? What I have I missed.

I think too that there would be merit in pressing the argument that people have complained about boy racers before and nothing is done, while a complaint about MHs, which are far less of a nuisance resulted in speedy action...and ask the council for a level playing field (no, not for the boy racers) in how road users are treated. And...what, exactly, is the issue with MHs, peaceful and quiet as they are?

If I am anywhere in that part of the world, I will happily turn out. Bit far to come from Hereford, though.



Polly

Rubbertramp
07-10-2011, 17:54
It all sounds good. I'll chat to the Parking Enforcement guy at CCC on Monday - as we're now on first-name terms, he might be accommodating. Thing is, though, when I mentioned that I used to escape to Marine Crescent for an overnight, he said 'Not anymore, you won't!' quite forthrightly, which made me think he wasn't exactly sympathetic. ...

Who is he....or who is anyone else, for that matter.... to be telling you where you can or cannot park legally overnight? Have we in this country become such wimps that we're willing to have our freedoms curtailed by such josworth bumholes and other busybodies. Methinks the answer is yes!
The police, backed up by a traffic regulation order and the landowner, if you're on their property, are the only people with the right to move you on....in my opinion. But hey, what do I know....I only work hard and pay my taxes. I deserve to be trampled on! Do you?

OK rant over.....go where you like and like where you go people. It's a free country!....or is it? (rubs chin Dick Dastardly style)

MartianTom
07-10-2011, 18:10
I didn't understand how this comment sits with your other comment that there are no "No motorhomes" sign? What I have I missed.

I think too that there would be merit in pressing the argument that people have complained about boy racers before and nothing is done, while a complaint about MHs, which are far less of a nuisance resulted in speedy action...and ask the council for a level playing field (no, not for the boy racers) in how road users are treated. And...what, exactly, is the issue with MHs, peaceful and quiet as they are?

If I am anywhere in that part of the world, I will happily turn out. Bit far to come from Hereford, though.



Polly

The sign says 'No Motor Caravans 6.30 pm to 8.30 am'. I guess you could get around it, then, if you're a night-worker and only go there to sleep during the day!

I made that argument exactly with the council. Peaceful activity v anti-social disturbance, inconsistency of approach, one complaint leads to prohibition notice for MHs, whereas years of complaints have had little effect against boy racers. I'll keep on pressing it with them, don't worry.

Might be worth it for the welcome, Polly. I'll buy you a mug of tea and a bag of chips, too, if that sways it!

MartianTom
07-10-2011, 18:13
Who is he....or who is anyone else, for that matter.... to be telling you where you can or cannot park legally overnight? Have we in this country become such wimps that we're willing to have our freedoms curtailed by such josworth bumholes and other busybodies. Methinks the answer is yes!
The police, backed up by a traffic regulation order and the landowner, if you're on their property, are the only people with the right to move you on....in my opinion. But hey, what do I know....I only work hard and pay my taxes. I deserve to be trampled on! Do you?

OK rant over.....go where you like and like where you go people. It's a free country!....or is it? (rubs chin Dick Dastardly style)

Heh heh.... I didn't say I was going to take any notice of him, now did I?

Rubbertramp
07-10-2011, 18:16
Heh heh.... I didn't say I was going to take any notice of him, now did I?

Go tear em to pieces Mutley....Grrrrassum tassum!

Pollik
07-10-2011, 18:30
The sign says 'No Motor Caravans 6.30 pm to 8.30 am'. I guess you could get around it, then, if you're a night-worker and only go there to sleep during the day!

I made that argument exactly with the council. Peaceful activity v anti-social disturbance, inconsistency of approach, one complaint leads to prohibition notice for MHs, whereas years of complaints have had little effect against boy racers. I'll keep on pressing it with them, don't worry.

Might be worth it for the welcome, Polly. I'll buy you a mug of tea and a bag of chips, too, if that sways it!

Now, I don't get that kind of offer every day!!




Polly

Mastodon
07-10-2011, 19:01
Put it on Facebook, then you'll get 4 years of peace and quiet :lol-053:

cooljules
07-10-2011, 19:26
now im a pretty thick person (and those who have met me would agree).

but if i went for the day, and i felt ill at the end of it (which often happens if i have pushed myself too much), i take me meds and that makes me drowsy, so refuse to drive, and as im parked in a safe, not affecting trafic etc. i feel it would be dangerous to drive. they couldnt tow me away, as i wouldnt be causing a obstruction or danger, as have a blue badge.

in my car i keep a emergency food/water/warmth rucksack with 4 days of provision. so its the same really for the campervan.

so if they took me to court, for staying in the camper past those hours, my defence would be i needed my meds, so refused to drive as in a safe position.

Pollik
07-10-2011, 20:08
so if they took me to court, for staying in the camper past those hours, my defence would be i needed my meds

And obviously, you would need someone to look after you...which would explain why I was there....so why are the rest of you lot there?





Polly

kernowprickles
07-10-2011, 20:30
And obviously, you would need someone to look after you...which would explain why I was there....so why are the rest of you lot there?
Polly

Cos we're such caring people, and someone would have to be there to look after Witman and Arthur while you're taking care of Cool!!!

KP x

Firefox
08-10-2011, 00:39
I couldn't see that a camper van meet/demo or any form of occupation would help a boy racer problem.

The racers are local, pass by all the time, and would reclaim it as and when. It needs to be the Police to sort them out.

The only effective way would be legislation that would allow the police to confiscate a vehicle for a week for noisy antisocial use after dusk, incurring hefty storage charges like they do now for lack of insurance or no MOT. Fines of hundreds of pounds to get their car back would stop the racers in their tracks. As it is now, they get dispersed and are back again when the Old Bill have left the scene.

Viktor
08-10-2011, 00:41
Ah! a good suggestion for local goverment - just think of all that lovely income.....could live with that one being implimented lol!

kangooroo
08-10-2011, 01:10
The only effective way would be legislation that would allow the police to confiscate a vehicle for a week for noisy antisocial use after dusk, incurring hefty storage charges like they do now for lack of insurance or no MOT. Fines of hundreds of pounds to get their car back would stop the racers in their tracks. As it is now, they get dispersed and are back again when the Old Bill have left the scene.

That happened here about a year ago. Every Friday/Saturday night the boy-racers used to tear up and down one stretch of road between 1-3am. One weekend the police lay in wait, got them all, siezed their untaxed, uninsured cars and the problem was largely resolved.

Firefox
08-10-2011, 01:20
I believe at present, for lack of insurance/MOT, if the fine is not paid, they have the power to either sell the vehicle and keep the proceeds, or crush it for scrap if an old one. Draconian, but it has proved the only way to cut down on vehicle fraud. I guess the cruisers would not be amused! Cruising up and down quietly to show off would be OK, but ghost riding, donuts, revving up, and burn outs espec after dusk could be subject to legislation.

MartianTom
08-10-2011, 07:15
I couldn't see that a camper van meet/demo or any form of occupation would help a boy racer problem.

Well, maybe not. Just as marches through London don't stop wars. But we could still have a good time and a bit of a laugh, no? :D

Randonneur
09-10-2011, 06:46
I'd be up for it. Herne Bay is an area that I've not yet been to. Would be nice to visit there knowing there's somewhere to overnight free or cheap!

ellieloy
09-10-2011, 10:02
I wonder if a series of organised stopovers with council permissions could be set up in various places - it may be good PR - especially if we all have the new badges/stickers ........fort william, here we come?

donkey too
09-10-2011, 11:35
I wonder if a series of organised stopovers with council permissions could be set up in various places - it may be good PR - especially if we all have the new badges/stickers ........fort william, here we come?

I know most of my local councillors/dinasaus having sat on the council with them and they would just view it the same as they view the traveller problem.:mad:

MartianTom
09-10-2011, 14:29
I know most of my local councillors/dinasaus having sat on the council with them and they would just view it the same as they view the traveller problem.:mad:

...and I'll bet most of 'em have got RVs and are fully paid-up club members, too!

donkey too
09-10-2011, 15:34
...and I'll bet most of 'em have got RVs and are fully paid-up club members, too!

Too tight for that. One old boy must be over 80 he has big Hymer looks new but about ten years old and it goes from his house to his daugters stables, 5 miles each way,:lol-053: every year for two weeks hols.
everyone here take the piss out of him but he don't care. him and his wife walk aroung in rags almost and nthey own half the land here abouts as well as a large sawmill.
Honest you coul;dn't make it up:rolleyes2:
Think I shall ask him if we can have a wild meet on his land.:lol-061:

ourglenard
09-10-2011, 17:27
MT:- Keep this thread @ the top M8!! I'm up for any meet @ Herne Bay after picking My Vito up from there!!
(re. Clacton: 2nd trip in Henry Thread....)

MartianTom
10-10-2011, 12:02
Well, here's the text of an e-mail I've just sent to my contact in Parking Enforcement at Canterbury City Council. I made a little concession to the 'anti' lobby, but only to try to show him that I keep an open mind!

I belong to an online campers’ and motorhomers’ forum, and other people on there have similar problems to mine: neighbourhood noise, which leads to their jumping in their vans to drive off somewhere quiet for the night. Also, of course, they have the problem with restrictions on overnight parking/camping, which many people object to. Unfortunately, there is a bit of a misconception in this country about leisure campers as opposed to ‘travellers’ – but I agree that sometimes leisure campers can bring that upon themselves by abusing privileges, over-using areas, etc.

Here’s my suggestion. For one night – and one night only! – between the hours that the Neptune Car Park is unrestricted (8pm to 8am), would it be possible to have a campervan and motorhome ‘meet’ there? By that, I don’t mean a party or a rally. Just one night, where campers arrive, stay quietly overnight, then move on in the morning – taking all their rubbish with them and leaving no trace. To my mind, this could achieve 3 things: a) it would show that the majority of campervan/motorhome users are quiet, clean, responsible and respectable people; b) it would be good for local businesses – shops, supermarkets, pubs, restaurants, take-aways – because these people have to eat and shop; and c) it might stop the boy racers from congregating there for that one night... which would go down very well with the neighbourhood. If it was seen as a council initiative, too – to reduce nuisance and boost local trade – it would be kudos to the council! The car park is often used by campers at the moment – though they tend not to stay too long because of the noise.

Maybe, too, the council could consider listing the car park – which doesn’t otherwise get a lot of overnight use – as a designated temporary stopping place for campervans and motorhomes, such as you find in many towns in Europe (i.e. one night only, to ensure the car park was free for the next day’s usage). Again, it would bring much-needed money into the town, especially during the slacker months.



I'll keep you posted....

Pollik
10-10-2011, 12:17
Fingers crossed.

If they come back with risk assessments, questions about insurance cover,....then we will know.




Polly

MartianTom
10-10-2011, 12:24
Fingers crossed.

If they come back with risk assessments, questions about insurance cover,....then we will know.




Polly

Oh, I'm pretty certain they will! Maybe they'd like to risk assess a handbrake turn, and talk about insurance for wheelies...

Bigpeetee
10-10-2011, 12:39
Anyone got a V12 turbocharged, nitro burning Motorhome. 0-60 in 4 seconds etc. Big Bull Bars on the front to remove Saxo obstacles. Playing loud Rock music??. Shame the kids into submission!!

Ste
10-10-2011, 17:59
Have you tried going to a council meeting? All public items are usually covered at the start. (Just been to one myself).

Firstly, if it only takes one local person to apply for a parking ban, then it only need one to apply to have it lifted.

& Secondly, you can confront councillers etc... on the problems you are having with the CP in front of your house.

Also don't go down the route of accusing them all of having no MOT/Insurance, it won't work. Many of them spend £1,000's & £1,000 on their cars. (I know, I used to be one). The way the problem was dealt here was to single out one repeat offender, and make an example of them.

MartianTom
11-10-2011, 15:42
I've just sent this e-mail to Parking Enforcement at Canterbury Council, following a response I had to a FOI request:

Dear Bob,

Just to keep you informed – still noisy last night, but it didn’t go on too far past midnight.

On a slightly different, but related issue - I contacted the Freedom of Information office to enquire about the nature of the complaint which led to the prohibition notices for motorhomes at Marine Crescent, Tankerton. This is the response I’ve just received:

The prohibition was requested by a local resident who expressed concern about having people camping in motorhomes near their home. The proposer also expressed concern about anti-social behaviour by some motorhome users.

In the light of this, I’m sure you can understand why I get so angry and frustrated with the ‘boy racer’ issue. I’ve done a lot more than express concern over these people, and I cannot believe that the anti-social behaviour by some motorhome users (certainly a minority of them, I would say) in any way measures up to that of a large group of adolescent Formula 1 wannabees expending their excess testosterone every evening in a residential neighbourhood. I understand that there are no easy solutions – but it does make me feel that some priorities are misplaced when it comes to this sort of thing.

However, I still trust that things are happening and that the matter is being given due consideration.

Many thanks again for your help.

Yours sincerely, etc


They must be getting sick of me by now. How long before I get a restraining order served on me, I wonder!

MartianTom
21-10-2011, 16:23
The Parking Enforcement Officer visited me yesterday about the boy racer problem, which is now being seriously addressed. Apparently, what swung it was a video recording I made last Sunday, showing cars having standing start races across the car park, plus one bit where a guy lies spread-eagled on the bonnet of a car while it's circling the car park! So... it's not so much about the noise as about the danger to life! Well, whatever does the job, I suppose...

Anyway, I asked him again about the possiblility of a 'meet' at the car park. He didn't say 'no' or 'yes'. His only real comment was that the car park isn't used much at night, except by the boy racers.... which kind of suggested it wouldn't be a problem. I pointed out the benefit to local businesses, and emphasised that it would only be for one night. Again, he didn't comment - but he did add that the main issue at Marine Crescent, Tankerton - a popular local wilding spot which has recently been posted 'No Motor Caravans 6.30 pm to 8.30 am' - was that some people were parking there for up to a week at a time.

I will check with the police, too, who are now monitoring evening activity at the car park. Part of the problem is that it's managed by 3 authorities: Foreshore Services, Transportation and Parking Enforcement. I'll also check with those.

Pollik
21-10-2011, 16:41
the main issue at Marine Crescent, Tankerton......was that some people were parking there for up to a week at a time.

Well, what can we say? It must a real problem almost without solution.

Oh, wait, what do they do in France? Ah, that's right, they use signs like "Maximum stay 3 nights". :rolleyes2:

The response doesn't really explain either the problem or the solution. Nor does it explain why they have not addressed a known problem of boy racers, but they have addressed a doubtful problem of motorhomes.

Methinks the Parking Enforcement Officer is fudging you and is probably just looking for a quiet life. Methinks he is a fairly typical council employee.

But that is just me.




Polly

MartianTom
21-10-2011, 16:53
Well, what can we say? It must a real problem almost without solution.

Oh, wait, what do they do in France? Ah, that's right, they use signs like "Maximum stay 3 nights". :rolleyes2:

The response doesn't really explain either the problem or the solution. Nor does it explain why they have not addressed a known problem of boy racers, but they have addressed a doubtful problem of motorhomes.

Methinks the Parking Enforcement Officer is fudging you and is probably just looking for a quiet life. Methinks he is a fairly typical council employee.

But that is just me.




Polly

I think you're probably right, Polly.

Like I said... it was more about 'risk to life and limb' than 'anti-social behaviour'. I spoke to a friend last week who's a full-timer and often parked at Marine Crescent. She thinks it was all about expediency. When I asked this bod about extending the town centre's 'dispersal zone' to include the car park, he then started going on about 'displacement of the problem to somewhere else.' Well.. the prohibition at Marine Crescent has effectively done the same. I park in another side road now - so does my friend. I think they're just afraid to take on these guys.

Or rather... a motorhome prohibition is a nice, soft solution to not a huge problem - so let's deal with the easy stuff and get a result, then leave the complicated and more pressing concerns to someone else to sort.

Pollik
21-10-2011, 17:33
I think they're just afraid to take on these guys.

Perhaps they do just enough get a decent annual appraisal to ensure an annual pay rise. I have seen a lot of that in my time, too, not just in councils.



Polly

rebbyvid
21-10-2011, 17:43
If Herne Bay comes under Canterbury councils jurisdiction i would have thought they were positive about motorhome parking seeing they have the park and ride set up at Dover rd.


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