Cobh Municipality To Decide on Motorhome Byelaws This Month

By Seamus Whelehan

Motorhomes parked at Cobh's five foot way where new regulations are set to come into play

Cobh Municipality are to decide on draft byelaws allowing overnight Motorhome parking at the Five Foot Way later this month.

Last year the local authority referred the regulations to its senior counsel following a threat of legal action by some East Cork Caravan Park Owners, who claimed the move would be anti-competitive and against the Road Traffic act.

The five foot way car park has been used for the overnight parking of motor homes for the past two years.

The authority want to impose some regulation on the area following the concern of some Councillors who described parking on the site akin to “the wild west” at certain times of the year.

Municipality Executive Officer Paraig Lynch told the February sitting of the borough that following legal advice he was happy “the council has the legal authority to introduce the byelaws.”

Under the provisions motor home owners could only park up for a maximum of 48 hours at a charge of €10 per night.

While the majority of Councillors were happy to back the regulations they sought to defer their decision over operational concerns.

Many questioned how the area would be regulated as the town’s traffic/litter warden was already over stretched.

If enacted Cork County Council would be the first authority in the country to adopt an overnight parking policy.

A spokesperson of the Phoenix Motor Home Club said the group would welcome the byelaw as it would regulate the area.

He said the EU Motorhomes are classified as cars and as such are legally entitled to park where it was legally permitted.

They said the facility at the five foot way was not anticompetitive as it offered a different experience to caravanning and camper parks.

“A parking space is just a place to park a vehicle.”

Currently Midleton town have specific parking for motorhomes in the old Tesco car park close to the Jameson Heritage centre.

There are further spaces provided in Youghal at Nielans Quay.

The average age of motorhome owners is 45-50, many are retired and travel on average 200 days a year spending on average €300 per week.

There are almost 20,000 Aires (motorhome stop overs) throughout Europe and 7,500 in France alone.

The Motorhome club say the experience in Cobh is among the best in Europe and offers great value for money at €10 per night, with its access to public transport, great bars and restaurants and heritage sites.

They say East Cork is a great spot for many motorhome tourists. The British and French particularly have an attraction to the area.