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Edinburgh Live
Edinburgh Live
Marie Sharp

East Lothian coastal car parks face overnight parking ban to deter campers

Overnight parking in coastal car parks in East Lothian will be banned under new proposals to tackle the impact of campers on the county's beaches and protected sites.

East Lothian has seen a surge in visitors to its coastal beaches and countryside since the pandemic but it has led to issues with fires, litter and human waste.

A report to the council' cabinet next week will ask for the green light to introduce a temporary ban on vehicles staying overnight in the car parks which will be monitored.

READ MORE: Visitors turn East Lothian coastline into giant campsite with thousands of tents

A report to members said as well as concern about people travelling in cars to camp at the beauty spots there were concerns about campervans and mobile homes which carry gas and could be a fire risk.

It said: "Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic coastal car parks in East Lothian have seen a considerable increase in the numbers of vehicles parking overnight associated with visitors camping in and near beach areas and in the car parks.

"This camping activity has caused damage to the biodiversity of this protected area by the lighting of fires and barbecues as well as generating litter, including human waste.

"There has also been an increase in the numbers of camper vans and motorhomes parking overnight at coastal car parks rather than at formal camping locations.

"The council operated car parks do not have the facilities to support camper vans or motorhomes and damage has been caused by the unlawful emptying of chemical toilets.

"In addition, when parked in close proximity some do pose a fire risk to themselves and others due to the gas that they carry on board."

The council promotes wild camping around its coastline but last summer said that most visitors do not understand what it means and are driving to sites turning them into "giant campsites."


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