Highland Council produces guidance booklet for increased numbers visitors travelling to the region in a motorhome or campervan
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A motorhome and campervan guidance booklet has been produced to help visitors enjoy the Highlands responsibly, protecting the environment and keeping it clean, tidy and safe for both visitors and residents.
Highland Council says it is adapting to the significant increase of motorhome ownership and rental in the UK and the demand for self-contained holidays by creating a helpful guide for those travelling on the region's roads this summer.
A paper copy of the guidance will be available shortly and distributed via the seasonal access ranger team.
An online version is available at Visiting the Highlands.
Chairman of the tourism committee, Councillor Gordon Adam, said: "The demand for travelling via motorhome has been intensified during the Covid-19 pandemic and as a result the Highlands are experiencing a significant increase of motorhomes and campervan visitors.
"Many of the users may be driving larger vehicles for the very first time, the guidance is a useful reminder of the rules and regulations and identifies how single track roads, passing places and parking in rural areas differ from urban areas.
"You can help support the local economic recovery by using local businesses wherever possible, buy groceries in local shops, have a coffee and cake in a cafe or enjoy an evening meal in a local restaurant. Book and plan ahead wherever possible."
Chairman of the communities and place committee, Councillor Alan Henderson, added: "As part of the council’s visitor management plan ambitions, the authority has created a useful guide to help motorhome and campervan users enjoy travelling the Highlands responsibly, whilst limiting the impact on communities and residents.
"The single track roads, passing places, parking restrictions and capacity in rural villages, differ from what many people may be familiar with. It can add to the beauty, escapism and experience of enjoying the Highland landscape.
"However, we encourage visitors to familiarise themselves with the guide and plan enough time for journeys and be courteous of other road users.
"There are campsites available in some of our most scenic spots and we encourage you to support them.
"In peak season, the Highland region is very popular – plan ahead and book campsites in advance where possible."
The visitor management plan has also created a landowner guide to create temporary motorhome stopovers. The guide is intended to give an introduction to what can be provided with minimum legislative constraints.
Highland Council proposes to take a constructive approach to support businesses, community groups and individual landowners who wish to offer their car parks or land to address some of the pressures anticipated during the 2021 season.
This change allows temporary use of appropriate locations for overnight stops in motorhomes without the need for formal planning permission, where it is considered safe and reasonable.
The council has also been working with communities and a number of commercial campsites to ensure waste disposal options are available around the Highlands for those visiting in motorhomes.
Work is also being undertaken in partnership with the Campervan and Motorhome Professional Association (Campa) which promotes the range of these facilities on its website at www.campa.org.uk/waste-disposal and other channels.
The guidance gives a brief introduction as to what can be provided by communities and private landowners.
As not all proposals will necessarily be deemed appropriate, anyone interested should complete a short enquiry form and submit it to Planning.Technical@highland.gov.uk.