Fife Coast & Countryside Trust (FCCT) engaged in a consultation arising from the volume of overnight motorhome parking in Fife. It was evident this growing form of tourism brings not only challenges but opportunities for stakeholders who live in and visit Fife.
This prompted FCCT to produce a consultation document “Freedom Camping – Options Paper on Motorhome Use in Fife”. The report outlined the problems, but more importantly the solutions, that would ensure safer parking, sustainable access and new ways of investing in our communities.
After gauging the views of residents, landowners, Community Councils, Fife Council and visitors, FCCT are set to trial a parking charge scheme at Kingsbarns beach and Elie Ruby Bay beach car parks which have both seen a significant increase in visitor numbers from motorhome users.
Robbie Blyth, Head of Operations, FCCT commented, “We feel that the time is right for us to pilot the introduction of a modest car parking charges scheme for Kingsbarns and Elie Ruby Bay Beaches. This is very much in line with the feedback from the many stakeholders who expressed their views on the future management of these areas. It is anticipated that moving forward this new initiative will help protect the landscape, boost the local economy and provide funding for local projects.
“Many European countries have realised the benefits for tourism from encouraging motorcaravans to visit by providing a network of safe and sustainable overnight parking and waste points facilities called Motorhome Aires and I look forward to the day that Fife can have a network of such facilities.”
New toilet block
Monies raised will be ringfenced to facilitate safe parking, extend the opening hours of public toilets and to create a network of chemical toilet disposal points. A new toilet block with overnight facilities has already been installed at Kingsbarns with plans for the installation for a new toilet block at Elie Ruby Bay in September 2022.
The following parking charges will come into force from July 2022.
• Up to 2 hours free
• Over 2 hours £2.00
• Free parking for disabled badge holders
• Limited overnight parking in designated bays £10.00
A new motorhome leaflet has been produced by FCCT to give guidance to those who visit Fife. We believe it will be especially useful for those new to the motorhome community and give them useful information to get the most out of their visit, but also make them aware of their responsibilities when holidaying in Fife.
Help and advice
Staff will be on hand to offer help and advice as we roll out the new carparking rules. Over the next few months, the trial will be closely monitored, with the option to roll out the scheme at other sites managed by the Trust if successful.
Fife Council’s Spokesperson for Finance, Economy and Strategic Planning Cllr. Altany Craik welcomed the move to better manage parking in two of Fife’s most popular destinations: “We want to encourage visitors to make the most of all that Fife has to offer, and there’s no doubt that Kingsbarns Beach and Ruby Bay are fabulous places to go and spend some time.
“By re-investing money raised into improving facilities we are aiming to give Fife’s tourism sector a more sustainable future. And by giving our visitors the best possible experience, we hope to see benefits for our local economy, taking advantage of opportunities to expand the sector in a responsible way.”