Campervans forced to stay in car parks intended for shoppers and other visitors
Increasing large numbers of campervans and motor homes are traversing top tourist route, the Wild Atlantic Way.
But along the 2,500km route, from the Inishowen Peninsula in Co Donegal to Kinsale, Co Cork, there are too few purpose-built facilities to cater for the motorhome sector.
The warning came from Kerry county councillor Seamus Cosaí Fitzgerald: “There is a crying need for overnight facilites for campervans. Many caravan parks do not provide for them.”
As one of the longest defined coastal drives in the world, tens of thousands of Irish, French, British and German campervan owners are flocking to the spectacular 14-stage route.
Mr Fitzgerald said with the private sector not catering for the tourists, local authorities should examine the possibility of providing stop-over infrastructure.
He said the main tourism agencies also need to get more involved.
Four of the stages take in Kerry: Kilkee to Tralee, Dingle peninsula, Ring of Kerry and Kenmare to the Beara.
But many campervan owners end up overnighting in town car parks and beaches.
Locals claim up to 30 motorhomes are to be found most mornings parked in the Dingle marina car park, the town’s main facility for local shoppers and other visitors.
“There’s simply nowhere for them to go,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
He said specific sites where the touring tourists can avail of electricity to charge batteries, deal with waste, have access to hygiene and water, and other facilites are badly needed, he said.
“There is a crying need for overnight facilites.”
He also said the local authorities need to play a lead role as private developers did not see such parks as profitable.
“Kerry County Council needs to take a lead role in providing campervan sites on the Kerry coast, along the Wild Atlantic Way route,” he said.
Mr Fitzgerald also suggested that Fáilte Ireland should identify the necessity to cater for motorhomes.
However, a spokesperson for Kerry County Council noted there are 40 licensed caravan parks in the county.
While some did provide facilities for touring campervans, some parks were at capacity with long-term paying tenants, it was pointed out.
The council said it would consider examining the matter of improved facilities.
Meanwhile, Fáilte Ireland said there are 13,300 caravan and camping spaces along the Wild Atlantic Way.
The agency said it was continually monitoring traffic along the route and will take account of any specific requirements.
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