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daveat92

Cars and vans parked in caravan bays in motorway services

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We can bang on about this issue until the cows come home but the fact is MSA and TRSA operators are satisfying their contractual obligations to provide the required 24/7 facilities i. e. parking spaces free for 2 hours, toilets, refreshments & fuel. What they aren't doing effectively is managing and "policing" those facilities, particularly the parking, to ensure everyone can enjoy the benefits and original purpose of service areas.

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51 minutes ago, Legal Eagle said:

We can bang on about this issue until the cows come home but the fact is MSA and TRSA operators are satisfying their contractual obligations to provide the required 24/7 facilities i. e. parking spaces free for 2 hours, toilets, refreshments & fuel. What they aren't doing effectively is managing and "policing" those facilities, particularly the parking, to ensure everyone can enjoy the benefits and original purpose of service areas.

Which leads back to money. Money to pay a member of staff to do it.

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18 minutes ago, Odd days said:

Which leads back to money. Money to pay a member of staff to do it.

Operators already have staff they can utilise. In fact some staff have it included in their job role description. However, it isn't a priority and the staff become embroiled in other work. Controversial though it is, they could, of course, contract it out and earn from it just like any other private land parking operator. After all they can be quick to impose charges if you overstay your 2 hour welcome. ūüėČ

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16 minutes ago, Legal Eagle said:

Operators already have staff they can utilise. In fact some staff have it included in their job role description. However, it isn't a priority and the staff become embroiled in other work. Controversial though it is, they could, of course, contract it out and earn from it just like any other private land parking operator. After all they can be quick to impose charges if you overstay your 2 hour welcome. ūüėČ

Sounds like you have it all worked out, when are you buying a service station and putting it all in to practice.  

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1 hour ago, Odd days said:

Sounds like you have it all worked out, when are you buying a service station and putting it all in to practice.  

I try to avoid them for the very reasons discussed on this thread. Like many I'm fed up with finding caravan bays taken up by solo cars or, as I experienced once at Membury, a motorcycle group outing. I now do a little research before travelling and find somewhere just off route a short distance from the motorway or before joining or just after leaving the motorway.

Edited by Legal Eagle
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I admit I avoid them when in the truck. Prefer somewhere that doesn’t stink and is quieter then a motorway service area. One of the better things of the A road.

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The dedicated touring caravan parking at the northbound and southbound Michaelwood services are drive through. The parking provision for motorhomes is drive or reverse in and dependent on the parking choice reverse or drive out.   The motorhome "pitches" seem to be quite small which often results in motorhomes parking in the touring caravan spaces. From my observations the majority of M/H and touring caravans parking at Michaelwood are to give comfort breaks to dogs.

If all spaces are occupied it is very difficult to park in the truck park as truck drivers select their dedicated lane when both car drivers and M/homers / touring caravanners are already in theirdedicated lane-and ner the twain shall meet - or converge. ;)

If the dedicated parking were any further from the services buildings they would be on the on slip roads. :rolleyes:

A couple of years there was a catering trailer on the southbound side which was located midway between "our" dedicated parking and the servicesa buildings which sold bacon butties to die for. :)

Edited by DeeTee
Added more text

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7 hours ago, DeeTee said:

The dedicated touring caravan parking at the northbound and southbound Michaelwood services are drive through. The parking provision for motorhomes is drive or reverse in and dependent on the parking choice reverse or drive out.   The motorhome "pitches" seem to be quite small which often results in motorhomes parking in the touring caravan spaces. From my observations the majority of M/H and touring caravans parking at Michaelwood are to give comfort breaks to dogs.

If all spaces are occupied it is very difficult to park in the truck park as truck drivers select their dedicated lane when both car drivers and M/homers / touring caravanners are already in theirdedicated lane-and ner the twain shall meet - or converge. ;)

If the dedicated parking were any further from the services buildings they would be on the on slip roads. :rolleyes:

A couple of years there was a catering trailer on the southbound side which was located midway between "our" dedicated parking and the servicesa buildings which sold bacon butties to die for. :)

Then I obviously missed them last week as the caravan park was as you enter the car park according to the signs and definitely not drive through?

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Should get a posse of caravan owners together to mass park in the main car park!

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17 hours ago, Legal Eagle said:

I try to avoid them for the very reasons discussed on this thread. Like many I'm fed up with finding caravan bays taken up by solo cars or, as I experienced once at Membury, a motorcycle group outing. I now do a little research before travelling and find somewhere just off route a short distance from the motorway or before joining or just after leaving the motorway.

Well said Legal Eagle; that is our approach too these days, and let's face it, Membury is a pain to get in and out of since the revamping of the M4J13/A34 intersection some years ago. Far better in my opinion if you have your own facilities, to use one of the large and convenient stopping places on the A4 that runs parallel to the motorway, or just off of the A34 if heading north/south.

A4 Stop 2.jpgA4 Stop 1.jpg

16 hours ago, Odd days said:

I admit I avoid them when in the truck. Prefer somewhere that doesn’t stink and is quieter then a motorway service area. One of the better things of the A road.

I agree Odd days. Our RV is a similar size to a small truck and trailer and so far we've never had a problem finding short term parking away from motorways for meal breaks.

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42 minutes ago, Gordon said:

Well said Legal Eagle; that is our approach too these days, and let's face it, Membury is a pain to get in and out of since the revamping of the M4J13/A34 intersection some years ago. Far better in my opinion if you have your own facilities, to use one of the large and convenient stopping places on the A4 that runs parallel to the motorway, or just off of the A34 if heading north/south.

A4 Stop 2.jpgA4 Stop 1.jpg

I agree Odd days. Our RV is a similar size to a small truck and trailer and so far we've never had a problem finding short term parking away from motorways for meal breaks.

 

I've found that most laybys smell of urine just as much as MSAs. I have found Forestry Commission (and devolved equivalents) good for parking but rarely in the most convenient location.

 

We have to stop every hour for SWMBO to put eye drops in as she can't do it on the move - so much pre-planning has to use Google Earth Pro to find suitable places to stop as not all motorway junctions have services or laybys very near. We can't stop on the hard shoulder as it doesn't constitute an emergency.

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Years ago from North Wales we went on a camping holiday to Forest of Dean with Honda 90 and Yamaha 50 step through, so this year we did the same down the A49 and thought it would be nice to stop at Queenswood as we had with the bikes, nice easy assess, however after we turned in there are signs on caravans, I have no objections to no caravans, that's OK, however would be sensible to have signs you can read before you turn in. Specially since a council run site. We only tried because we remember calling there on bikes.

 

I regularly pull into lay-bys not to stop but to let people pass me. I am limited to 50 MPH and they can do 60 MPH I know I have the power to do 60 MPH but I'm on holiday want to enjoy myself not keeping a eagle eye out for police.

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Some lay-bys are worse then others especially if near a distribution centre etc.

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1 hour ago, Gordon said:

Well said Legal Eagle; that is our approach too these days, and let's face it, Membury is a pain to get in and out of since the revamping of the M4J13/A34 intersection some years ago. Far better in my opinion if you have your own facilities, to use one of the large and convenient stopping places on the A4 that runs parallel to the motorway, or just off of the A34 if heading north/south.

A4 Stop 2.jpgA4 Stop 1.jpg

I agree Odd days. Our RV is a similar size to a small truck and trailer and so far we've never had a problem finding short term parking away from motorways for meal breaks.

:Thankyou:. I think you're confusing Membury with Chieveley which is off the M4 J13. Membury is between J14 & J15.

 

Love the picture of the refreshment trailer. You can't beat a roadside toxic sausage!! :lol:

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3 hours ago, Durbanite said:

Then I obviously missed them last week as the caravan park was as you enter the car park according to the signs and definitely not drive through?

As the car park is entered from the slip road it is an immediate right turn for caravan / motorhome parking. The ten or so angled caravan bays are on the right. Drive into a bay, heading south/north as appropriate, and "Drive through" to leave the bay heading south/north, again as appropriate, turning left when the rear of the outfit is clear. Turn left again to join the exit route bordering the parking area. The above applies to both sides of the Motorway, as it has done since the bays were created several years ago. I last parked at Michaelwood  south and north bound when towing in July. Google Earth shows the parking area exactly as I earlier described.

 

Edited by DeeTee
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44 minutes ago, Legal Eagle said:

:Thankyou:. I think you're confusing Membury with Chieveley which is off the M4 J13. Membury is between J14 & J15.

 

Love the picture of the refreshment trailer. You can't beat a roadside toxic sausage!! :lol:

 

Some surveys rate them healthier than high street chains.

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6 hours ago, Legal Eagle said:

:Thankyou:. I think you're confusing Membury with Chieveley which is off the M4 J13. Membury is between J14 & J15.

 

Love the picture of the refreshment trailer. You can't beat a roadside toxic sausage!! :lol:

My memory doesn't cooperate as often as it used to. As for the "toxic sausage", well we can always choose whether to use the full kitchen we have onboard, or take the risk at a greasy spoon van :)

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On 04/11/2018 at 08:52, Durbanite said:

Then I obviously missed them last week as the caravan park was as you enter the car park according to the signs and definitely not drive through?

What does a drive through sign lool like?

I take it that you didn't follow the caravan signs to the carvan and motorhome spaces when you visited Michaelwood last week?

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If they had cameras operating could solve all problems 

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It's not only this country, France is exactly the same, there have been numerous times we have had to abort service areas by driving straight through.   "Tiredness Kills, Take a break" how thoughtful to put the signs up, pity they don't provide enough parking for caravans

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In 2016 at Cambridge services I found the caravan parking area with several unauthorised vehicles in the spaces. There were a couple of caravan outfits and a liveried AA recovery vehicle with a car on the back.   I parked along the back of all of them. The caravanners could leave easily but others couldn't because they had a vehicle in front of them and our outfit behind. We stayed for 40 minutes and no-one came to threaten us. I do understand that some car drivers' skill  level might prevent them reversing in or out of the other parking spaces leaving them no option but to use a drive-in drive-out space, but I was disappointed with the AA vehicle driver.

Edited by hawkaye
edited for sense

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4 hours ago, Les Medes said:

It's not only this country, France is exactly the same, there have been numerous times we have had to abort service areas by driving straight through.   "Tiredness Kills, Take a break" how thoughtful to put the signs up, pity they don't provide enough parking for caravans

 

For cars parking in caravan places I think France is much much worse than UK.

 

John

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19 hours ago, DeeTee said:

What does a drive through sign lool like?

I take it that you didn't follow the caravan signs to the carvan and motorhome spaces when you visited Michaelwood last week?

We entered off the slip road and then followed the signs for caravans.    If I remember correctly we then took the first entrance into the car park as per the signs for caravans.   The bays are then on your right.   You can see this if using Google Earth.  

Either reverse in or go to the end turn right and then right again if there are no units parked at the end.   We seldom stop at Michaelwood but did two weeks ago and luckily we were the only unit there.   Even if it was partly full, it would have been an issue for us with a twin axle caravan.

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12 hours ago, JCloughie said:

 

For cars parking in caravan places I think France is much much worse than UK.

 

John

I totally agree, I always try and park next to them in a way that blocks them in, then just ignore them when they start ranting in French :o

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17 hours ago, hawkaye said:

There were a couple of caravan outfits and a liveried AA recovery vehicle with a car on the back.  , but I was disappointed with the AA vehicle driver.

Where could the AA driver have parked as he was not an HGV?

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