Motorhome stopover to be trialed in Bedford town centre car park

The trial at St Peter's Street car park will take place this spring

By John Guinn, Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 28th January 2022, 2:22 pm
Updated Friday, 28th January 2022, 2:22 pm
St Peter's Street car park
St Peter's Street car park

Bedford Borough Council is looking to trial a motorhome stopover in Bedford town centre this spring.

Motorhome stopovers, known as Aires, are mostly public parking areas where self-contained motorhome and campervan users may stop overnight for free or for a small fee.

Most Aires should be only considered a convenient en route stopover rather than a holiday destination.

Matthew D'Archambaud, chief officer highways, transport and engineering at the council told the Environment and Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee last night (Thursday, January 27) that the motorhome parking project had been "stop-start" over the last 12 to 18 months due to the pandemic.

"It was something that we'd hoped to be a bit further sort of along the line with," he said.

"We are now, hopefully, and I'm desperately touching wood as I'm saying it, moving into position where people can move a bit more freely and we have moved the considerations on slightly.

"We have looked at a number of potential locations within the borough to hold a bit of a trial for one of these Aires."

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"[It will be] where these vehicles can be parked overnight so people can leave them and obviously go and enjoy sort of local activities and local bits and pieces in and around, and they can generate quite a bit of revenue.

"We've settled on St Peter's Street in the middle of the town to promote as our test location.

"We're speaking to the National Association of Aires [sic], and we're coming up with a bit of a bit of a campaign, working with them to let motorhome users know that yes, across the spring they will be able to book a space in the St Peter s Street car park, out of hours, and they can stay there overnight.

"Depending on the success of that trial, then potentially we might open it up to further locations in the summer," he said.