The £100,000 motorhome scheme set to be expanded throughout Ayrshire

A motorhome parking pilot scheme has been deemed a success despite falling short of its expected financial projections.

Councilors will now be asked to fork out over £100,000 to set the scheme up permanently and introduce another three sites for trial.

In March 2021 South Ayrshire Council agreed to a pilot motorhome stopover at Ayr and Girvan. Vehicles were allowed to park in serviced bays for £5, restricted to one night.

Councilors on the Leadership Panel will hear that income was £13,845, compared to almost £45,000 in setting up costs.

The council had estimated income would be between £9,100 and £27,300 with an outlay of £30,000.

Now, the recommendation has been made to expand the scheme, including doubling the fee to £10 per night and allowing multiple day stays. The council claims this will increase income to between £15,500 and £46,000.

Councilors have also been asked to consider a further three pilot schemes North Shore Road Car Park, Troon; Links Road Car Park, Prestwick; and Foreland Car Park, Ballantrae with setting up costs of £35,000 on top of the £78,000 to make the other sites permanent.

Income from the motorhome bays would ‘meet future revenue costs’, councilors were told when agreeing to the pilot last year.

A report to the Leadership Panel stated that ‘overall the trial scheme has proved a success’.

It recommends introduced permanent arrangements at Knockcushan Street Car Park in Girvan and Ayr Esplanade Car Park.

This would use a cashless payment system, with the suggestion that monitoring be carried out through the Harbor Management Group or the Girvan Community Council.

This would cost £15,000 to set up and recurring annual costs of £19,000. This would be offset, according to the report, by the increase in the overnight fee, which they say would bring in £12,500.

The paper also recommends permanent arrangements at Ayr, but states that issues caused by ‘car enthusiasts who congregate within the car park every evening’ have to be addressed.

It also suggests an automatic entry and exit would remove the need for enforcement patrols. Councilors have also been asked to consider use of coach parking at Cromwell Road Car Park as a potential overspill.

This barrier system would cost £37,000 to set up.

The report states: “While this outlay would be greater, there would be a significant reduction in running cost as there would be no need for manned monitoring and enforcement arrangements meaning a sum of £4,000 would be required.”

The income, again at £10 per night, would be £12,500.

The report continued: “Initially, there was some resistance to the scheme from residents of streets located near to the Esplanade Car Park.

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“Concerns were raised in relation to the suitability of the location but it quickly became clear that the main cause for concern was the fact that long standing issues in relation to motoring enthusiasts, and the anti-social behavior displayed by this group, were not addressed by the scheme.

“The feedback received for the Girvan site was overwhelmingly positive. Customers found the choice of location second to none and the additional facilities on offer were very well received. Demand for spaces well outstripped supply.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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