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VW California Not Welcome At Portree, Skye

Aidy P

Aidy P

Don't play that 'What If?' game, you'll never win!
Messages
977
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
To say I am livid is an understatement.

I’ve been slapped a £100 fine today for parking my California in the public car par in the centre of Portree, Skye l. I’d seen the the no motorhome sign, but missed the tiny no campervan sticker that had been added underneath it.

I tried to explain to the parking warden that it is the same size as the multivan parked behind me. He didn't care. Just said it has a built in bed, so it’s a campervan. The sad, fat, miserable, man took great delight in being rude to my daughter and I.

I’d stayed in Portree Campsite the night before, eaten in a local pub, paid for parking at The Old Man of Storr carpark and then paid to use the car park so I could buy food in the Co-Op and a few gifts from local shops. All in all a lot of £££ spent in less than 24 hours to support the local economy.

This was simply a kick in the teeth from the local council. A money grabbing scam. There was nowhere else to park. I fitted the California within the parking space. Paid for longer than needed - just in case.

I will not be going back to Portree and I would recommend all California owners to be careful / avoid the area if this is the Council’s latest fleece a tourist strategy.
IMG_7931.jpeg
 
To say I am livid is an understatement.

I’ve been slapped a £100 fine today for parking my California in the public car par in the centre of Portree, Skye l. I’d seen the the no motorhome sign, but missed the tiny no campervan sticker that had been added underneath it.

I tried to explain to the parking warden that it is the same size as the multivan parked behind me. He didn't care. Just said it has a built in bed, so it’s a campervan. The sad, fat, miserable, man took great delight in being rude to my daughter and I.

I’d stayed in Portree Campsite the night before, eaten in a local pub, paid for parking at The Old Man of Storr carpark and then paid to use the car park so I could buy food in the Co-Op and a few gifts from local shops. All in all a lot of £££ spent in less than 24 hours to support the local economy.

This was simply a kick in the teeth from the local council. A money grabbing scam. There was nowhere else to park. I fitted the California within the parking space. Paid for longer than needed - just in case.

I will not be going back to Portree and I would recommend all California owners to be careful / avoid the area if this is the Council’s latest fleece a tourist strategy.
View attachment 121035
I would right to the highland council what a jobs worth
 
I would write/email them saying that your van was being used as transport, is the identical footprint to a Caravelle, no larger than many MPV's and that the fine is wholly unreasonable. On top of this the ridiculous sticker in small text is difficult to see. Therefore you refuse to pay.

(for the record, I could park my Coast there as it is registered as an MPV! Shows you how weird all this is!)

Good luck anyway
 
You should challenge the fine. This poor bloke was fined for parking in a Campervan only bay. Highland Council should make up their minds. Seems completely arbitrary.

 
You should challenge the fine. This poor bloke was fined for parking in a Campervan only bay. Highland Council should make up their minds. Seems completely arbitrary.

My apologies to Highland Council. That fine in my link was issued by a Welsh local County Council. But nice little money earner these Councils have going on.
I would still challenge the fine as your Cali looks nothing Great White motorhome shown in the picture and for all you know the minute sticker under it has no official endorsement. Its not even integral to the sign and could easily have been applied by a disgruntled local.
 
To say I am livid is an understatement.

I’ve been slapped a £100 fine today for parking my California in the public car par in the centre of Portree, Skye l. I’d seen the the no motorhome sign, but missed the tiny no campervan sticker that had been added underneath it.

I tried to explain to the parking warden that it is the same size as the multivan parked behind me. He didn't care. Just said it has a built in bed, so it’s a campervan. The sad, fat, miserable, man took great delight in being rude to my daughter and I.

I’d stayed in Portree Campsite the night before, eaten in a local pub, paid for parking at The Old Man of Storr carpark and then paid to use the car park so I could buy food in the Co-Op and a few gifts from local shops. All in all a lot of £££ spent in less than 24 hours to support the local economy.

This was simply a kick in the teeth from the local council. A money grabbing scam. There was nowhere else to park. I fitted the California within the parking space. Paid for longer than needed - just in case.

I will not be going back to Portree and I would recommend all California owners to be careful / avoid the area if this is the Council’s latest fleece a tourist strategy.
View attachment 121035
Was there not sign with all the conditions on? Adapted for sleeping and cooking are common and if that's the case it seem unfair I agree but the warden would be correct. I would appeal it and see what happens, Highland council like many others have started charging for car parks to generate some income even here in Lochaber. The budgets like other councils are stretched to say the least.
 
Was there not sign with all the conditions on? Adapted for sleeping and cooking are common and if that's the case it seem unfair I agree but the warden would be correct. I would appeal it and see what happens, Highland council like many others have started charging for car parks to generate some income even here in Lochaber. The budgets like other councils are stretched to say the least.
I didn’t see any conditions. It was a simple ‘pay and display’ car park. I parked. Paid. Then went to the shops. I’d get it if I was in a motor home taking up more than the paid space.

So many people will get ripped of by this in Portree.
 
You could argue that the council is in derogation of its duties by not providing suitable parking spaces for Motorhomes.


1.4 Tourism & Visitors


The Highland Council is responsible for many aspects of Roads infrastructure which impacts on Tourism, we will work with all relevant agencies to secure sustainable parking facilities for the tourism sector, including but not limited to:


i. Managed short stay and long stay parking provision


ii. Coach parking management and facilities


iii. Off Street provision of tourist related services in Car Parks


iv. Motorised Caravan parking (Motorhomes/Campervans)
a. Management of parking during night-time hours where it is possible for the Council to do so.


b. Encouraging the use of formal camping-based facilities wherever available and suitable.


c. Implement 24hr maximum fee-based stay for Motorhomes in specific Council car parks.


v. support the delivery of any Visitor Management Strategy; and


vi. Where agreed by local committees parking charges may be introduced on an “Invitation to Pay” basis without enforcement powers relating to pay & display.




And then in the same document Appendix 6 there is this regarding vehicles that are not permitted


m) Parking of vehicles manufactured for or adapted for the purpose of sleeping.
 
We had the same in Portree last week in The Green car park in town. Terms and conditions state that you can park a vehicle designed for sleeping in for a maximum of 2 hours. We were less than an hour. Came back to a ticket. Had a good look around and noticed the same No Motorhome sign with the tiny “no campervans” sticker on it - but it was 11ft up a lamppost and nowhere near the ticket machine and terms and conditions sign! The sign wasn’t clear to see and the tiny writing impossible. Apealed the ticket online but that was rejected as apparently I should be able to read 1cm high writing from 11ft away. Miserable gits. £100 fine reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days
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IMG_5143.jpeg

We almost got caught out in Fort William twice too. First time was in the big car park on the loch side as you come in from Glencoe. Spaces are tiny and I found an end one and parked but the front was overhanging the space quite a bit. A very friendly warden turned up (American chap, we chatted for ages) who informed me that Highland Council rules are that all 4 tyres must be within the bay markings - doesn’t matter about overhang, even if you end up blocking an adjacent space - it’s the tyres within the lines that they look at. So I reversed to get the tyres all within the lines and blocked the space behind. He was happy with that!

Second time was in one of the car parks near Fort William train station. No noticeable signage regarding motorhomes or campervans, only wording saying no towed caravans, coaches or buses. We paid and walked out, turned back to check I’d locked the van and right by me was a No Motorhome sign with the sneaky little campervan sticker on it. But it was fixed to a pole so you could only see it walking BACK to the car park And nowhere near the ticket machine and other signage at all! Designed to catch you out.

There are also some motorhome specific spaces in one of these car parks near the station and you used to be able to pay and park overnight but the friendly warden informed me that they’ve now stopped that - so be aware. If you can find one of the free spaces in the train station car park, there’s no parking restrictions, you just have to be a ScotRail customer. So buy a single ticket for the following morning to Banavie (£2.80), spend all day in Fort William and sleep there in your van! 24hr McDonalds opposite!

And the separate (ie: nowhere near the ticket machine) “No Overnight Parking“ sign in the car park at Caol Beach is partially hidden behind the recycling banks.

I did find it all a bit off - most places are fine and a lot (as we all know) welcome campervans. For anyone heading up that way just check, check and check again as Highland Council signage is very poor.
 
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You could argue that the council is in derogation of its duties by not providing suitable parking spaces for Motorhomes.


1.4 Tourism & Visitors


The Highland Council is responsible for many aspects of Roads infrastructure which impacts on Tourism, we will work with all relevant agencies to secure sustainable parking facilities for the tourism sector, including but not limited to:


i. Managed short stay and long stay parking provision


ii. Coach parking management and facilities


iii. Off Street provision of tourist related services in Car Parks


iv. Motorised Caravan parking (Motorhomes/Campervans)
a. Management of parking during night-time hours where it is possible for the Council to do so.


b. Encouraging the use of formal camping-based facilities wherever available and suitable.


c. Implement 24hr maximum fee-based stay for Motorhomes in specific Council car parks.


v. support the delivery of any Visitor Management Strategy; and


vi. Where agreed by local committees parking charges may be introduced on an “Invitation to Pay” basis without enforcement powers relating to pay & display.




And then in the same document Appendix 6 there is this regarding vehicles that are not permitted


m) Parking of vehicles manufactured for or adapted for the purpose of sleeping.
The motorhome / campervan parking is within the bottom car park by the Indian restaurant down the hill - but unless you know that, you won’t know.
 
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To say I am livid is an understatement.

I’ve been slapped a £100 fine today for parking my California in the public car par in the centre of Portree, Skye l. I’d seen the the no motorhome sign, but missed the tiny no campervan sticker that had been added underneath it.

I tried to explain to the parking warden that it is the same size as the multivan parked behind me. He didn't care. Just said it has a built in bed, so it’s a campervan. The sad, fat, miserable, man took great delight in being rude to my daughter and I.

I’d stayed in Portree Campsite the night before, eaten in a local pub, paid for parking at The Old Man of Storr carpark and then paid to use the car park so I could buy food in the Co-Op and a few gifts from local shops. All in all a lot of £££ spent in less than 24 hours to support the local economy.

This was simply a kick in the teeth from the local council. A money grabbing scam. There was nowhere else to park. I fitted the California within the parking space. Paid for longer than needed - just in case.

I will not be going back to Portree and I would recommend all California owners to be careful / avoid the area if this is the Council’s latest fleece a tourist strategy.
View attachment 121035
So is it ok to park a normal van as nothing on the sign I can see.
I think the problem is campervans use to be small like the Cali and caused little to no problems in a carpark, now campervan word is stretched to cover 6/7m vans.
Very poor signage would of catched me out too.
 
So is it ok to park a normal van as nothing on the sign I can see.
I think the problem is campervans use to be small like the Cali and caused little to no problems in a carpark, now campervan word is stretched to cover 6/7m vans.
Very poor signage would have catched me out too.
Yes, I believe so. There was another Cali (copper bronze) in the car park at the same time as us who also got a ticket. Just shows how rubbish the signage is if he got caught out by it too! Next to him was a silver Ford Transit combi (van but had rear seats) who didn’t have a ticket.

I wonder if it’s anything to do with how it’s registered with DVLA? I guess the wardens have the ability to check. Cali is a motor caravan, some campers are vans with windows, some are registered as MPV.
 
I hate to be one to say this, but the conditions of use sign on the pay machine clearly states that parking is for cars, motorcycles and light goods vehicles, and an image of a camper is crossed through.
I would be livid too, the warden is clearly a zealot and the signage is not great, but I would suggest an appeal would be a waste of time.
I used the lower large car park last year without a problem. I may have been caught out too had I tried one if those other car parks, who knows.
As I say, just saying.
 
Just wondering,..... is adding a tiny sticker that could have been made and placed by anyone, a standard practise of local governments? I mean, I could just print out a few stickers saying 'illegal for parking wardens'. Wouldn't make it the law would it? If there's no proper sign, how is anyone to know for sure that a sticker isn't stuck on by some random guy? If there's a sticker on the sign that says 'listen to BBC radio', do you get fined if you don't?

It's why I wouldn't stop for an unmarked 'police car' either. Who the hell knows if it's legite or not? They should at least take the effort to make a proper sign before writing fines.

If they make you pay the fine I would at least print some stickers of your own and place them on any local sign you can find. 'illegal for parking wardens' would be nice. Or perhaps 'Forbidden for cars'. 'surcharge for non-spotted giraffe's'?
 
There are a lot of motor homes and camper vans in the highlands these days with some tourists being a pain for the locals but they need to remember that tourism is what pays their wages. Without tourists the locals would be back to surviving on potatos and fish which is how my ancestors on Skye lived and why most of them ended up in Glasgow.
 
I hate to be one to say this, but the conditions of use sign on the pay machine clearly states that parking is for cars, motorcycles and light goods vehicles, and an image of a camper is crossed through.
I would be livid too, the warden is clearly a zealot and the signage is not great, but I would suggest an appeal would be a waste of time.
I used the lower large car park last year without a problem. I may have been caught out too had I tried one if those other car parks, who knows.
As I say, just saying.
Normally there’s another image used for campervans that’s why they have added that sticker.
Shame they can’t add that but I guess they wouldn’t make much money that way!
 
So is it ok to park a normal van as nothing on the sign I can see.
I think the problem is campervans use to be small like the Cali and caused little to no problems in a carpark, now campervan word is stretched to cover 6/7m vans.
Very poor signage would of catched me out too.
guess they will not see you sleep in the Jimmy
 
Appears like an afterthought to extort money from tourists, this wee sticker, which I had to zoom into pic to actually see. Ild most definitely contact council with a complaint.
Our next door neighbours Range Rover is bigger than our Cali Ocean and yes our V5 states MPV !
 
Also got a fine in Skye - no motorhomes, but we could fit under the barrier.... no dice pay up
 
To say I am livid is an understatement.

I’ve been slapped a £100 fine today for parking my California in the public car par in the centre of Portree, Skye l. I’d seen the the no motorhome sign, but missed the tiny no campervan sticker that had been added underneath it.

I tried to explain to the parking warden that it is the same size as the multivan parked behind me. He didn't care. Just said it has a built in bed, so it’s a campervan. The sad, fat, miserable, man took great delight in being rude to my daughter and I.

I’d stayed in Portree Campsite the night before, eaten in a local pub, paid for parking at The Old Man of Storr carpark and then paid to use the car park so I could buy food in the Co-Op and a few gifts from local shops. All in all a lot of £££ spent in less than 24 hours to support the local economy.

This was simply a kick in the teeth from the local council. A money grabbing scam. There was nowhere else to park. I fitted the California within the parking space. Paid for longer than needed - just in case.

I will not be going back to Portree and I would recommend all California owners to be careful / avoid the area if this is the Council’s latest fleece a tourist strategy.
View attachment 121035
Send it to BlackBeltBarrister on YouTube. He will probably do a video on it that everyone can use as a reference going forward :)
 
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