Stay at the aire or move on!
CampingCarPark aire at Amboise, Centre
There appears to be a growing trend for towns that have agreed to convert their municipal aires to a CampingCarPark aire, to also introduce a bye-law prohibiting motorhomes from parking in any of the municipal car parks. This then unfairly means that any motorhome visitor to these towns now has to park at the aire (which may in fact be full) - even if they are only staying for just a short while.
Five towns that have recently converted to CampingCarPark aires have also coincidentally taken steps to ban motorhomes from parking in the municipal car parks. The communes of Toulon-sur-Arroux, St Andre-des-eaux, Merlimont, l’Argentiere-la-Bessee & Veuzain sur Loire have all issued laws that force motorhomes to use the CCP aire if they want to stay in the town. Whilst it seems a strange coincidence, CCP have denied that they have any involvement in the introduction of these bye laws although they obviously profit from these rules.
The French motorhome magazine ‘CampingCar’ however has obtained a copy of an agreement between CCP and one of the towns concerned & found that the following clause is contained in the agreement regarding the conversion of the aire; ‘This agreement is directly linked to a municipal decree prohibiting the overnight parking of motorhomes, outside existing campsites or motorhome areas present in the town.’ This therefore appears to confirm that CCP are obviously keen to force visiting motorhomes into their aires whether they wish to stay the night or not.
This trend has not gone unnoticed by the French ‘Comité de Liaison du Camping-car’ - an association protecting the rights of motorhome owners. The association has recently come to an agreement with four other towns which have CCP aires & which also had a bye-law forbidding motorhome parking. After negotiations with the communes of Riantec (56), La Séguinière (49), Moulismes (86) & Saint-Antoine-de-Breuilh (24), the association has managed to get the bye-laws withdrawn hence allowing motorhomes to park without having to stay on the CCP aires.
CCP are obviously a business & are keen for motorhomes to stay on their aires, however in a country where motorhome parking is allowed in most locations it is worrying to see these laws being introduced – especially considering CCP have aires in over 200 locations throughout France.