Motorhome Parking at Motorway Service Areas.

A couple of words of warning.
Before you leave your vehicle check the notices in the car park to see what restrictions on parking are displayed - for example, time limits, parking within bays (including any ban on overhangs).
Remember that when you park in a private car park (such as those owned by MSA operators) you are entering into a contract based on the conditions displayed and failure to comply with the conditions renders you liable to a charge for breach of contract (to which you have agreed by parking).
Some MSA operators are now installing CCTV cameras, which use Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), in their carparks to identify vehicles that stay for more than a set time and then issue bills for staying too long.

Enquiries about MSA parking were made in March 2009.

The Highways Agency explained that MSAs in England are all privately run by commercial companies operating under licences and agreements entered with the government. There are policy standards for the number of parking spaces by type of vehicle at MSAs but they are not legally binding and the actual levels of provision are set out in the specific agreements drawn up. The government has no powers to force a re-negotiation of the agreements so newer policies are not retrospective and older MSAs are only subject to the requirements that applied at the time that they were built. Earlier policies did not impose any requirement for dedicated parking spaces for caravans or motorhomes but some sites do make dedicated provision for caravans and motorhomes despite there being no such obligation written into their agreements.
Even where such dedicated provision has not been made, there has been a long-standing policy requirement that MSAs provide free parking for up to two hours for all types of vehicle. Therefore, in the absence of dedicated bays for caravans and motorhomes, arrangements should be in place for the use by such vehicles of any available spaces within one of the other parking areas (for cars, coaches or lorries).
The operators have the right to charge for parking beyond that two hour period and to take enforcement action against drivers who do not pay. However, the charges and the consequences for overstaying the free period without payment must be clearly displayed. These can include clamping of vehicles and parking fines.
Regardless of type, where vehicles are parked outside of the areas designated for their use, the operators may choose to take enforcement action. There is no right to use another area if those spaces are full.

Extra responded:
We do not provide specific spaces for motorhomes, but we do have spaces allocated for cars with caravans and would suggest that you use these. In the event that these are full, you can park in the HGV parking area. The only sites which do not have caravan spaces are Leicester and Derby as these are not motorway sites but trunk road services.
Extra Parking Page mentions caravans.

Moto responded:
1) There are no specific spaces reserved for motor homes. At some sites we have designated bays for use by caravans only and it would be acceptable for motor homes to use this allocation of space.
2) If designated parking spaces are fully occupied or there are no designated bays on car parks then we would advise the driver to use the normal car park, provided that if there were any overhang it did not obstruct entry and egress to the car park or cause any obstruction to the routes around the car parks. It would be acceptable for vehicles that were oversize i.e. length wise to use 2 bays to accommodate the length.
3) Where car parks are small and access is not possible due to size or available spaces then we have no problem with drivers using the main HGV Park. Drivers would have to be aware that the area is a working environment 24/7 and persons would have to take care when moving about on foot, children should be chaperoned at all times and we would not accept any liability and it would be at own risk. Because of the types of loads using the park i.e. highly Inflammable liquids or gases they would not be allowed to use cooking facilities in the lorry park for fear of explosion or fires.
4) Just for information drivers are entitled to 2 hours free parking and under no circumstances should motor homes or caravans be parked in restricted areas, coach bays or disabled bays without a badge and if they have a badge they must not cause obstruction or danger to other users of the park.
Moto Parking Page.

Road Chef and Welcome Break did not respond to enquiries but have some information on their web sites.

Road Chef; Parking Page (See notes under Parking Areas); Touring Page (Mentions motorhomes).

Welcome Break; Parking Page.

Return to Motorhome Parking home page.

Last updated: 3 August 2013
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