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Camper-van freeloaders cause uproar

Call for clamp down on overnight camper-van parking

Anton McNulty

Owners of caravan campsites in Mayo say their business is on its knees due to the number of camper vans who park overnight along the side of the road and refuse to pay for their facilities.
The caravan park owners are particularly annoyed about the growing number of camper vans that park just outside their premises and use the campsite’s facilities without paying. They have called for Mayo County Council to put an end to the practice and are seeking the introduction of bye-laws to stop overnight parking of caravans, camper vans and tents on the roadsides in the county.
The proposal to introduce bye-laws was made by Achill councillor Micheál McNamara at last week’s monthly meeting of Mayo County Council who explained a number of caravan park owners who feel their livelihood is under pressure as a result.
Joe Lavelle of Lavelle’s Caravan Park in Dugort, Achill told The Mayo News that every caravan park owner in the county has having the same issues with camper-van owners who park outside their site but still use their facilities.

‘More outside the gate than inside’
“When you get up in the morning there would be more outside the gate than inside. You can’t keep an eye on things 24/7 and they are coming in a using the facilities like the showers and toilets. They are even cheeky enough to tell me I have good facilities,” he said.
“I talk to them but all I get is abuse and they tell me to eff off and say it is free and they can do what they like. The council have a sign up saying no parking but there is no bye-law in place and there is no power and they totally ignore it. Once one or two start doing it others follow them because they feel they have power in numbers.”
He said there were also environmental concerns regarding parking on the side of the road because of the use of chemical toilets on camper vans.

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