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New £40 voluntary campervan pass launched in the Highlands in a bid to boost infrastructure

By Philip Murray

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The pass is aimed at socially conscious campervan and motorhome travellers. Picture: iStock.
The pass is aimed at socially conscious campervan and motorhome travellers. Picture: iStock.

A new voluntary scheme has launched across the Highlands aimed at encouraging campervan and motorhome users visiting the region to contribute towards the cost of tourist infrastructure.

It comes in response to local concerns that tourists who bring their own accommodation with them are placing increasing demand on the region’s infrastructure without significantly contributing towards the local economy.

The new £40 Highland Campervan and Motorhome Scheme is being aimed at socially conscious travellers, with those opting to pay for the seven-day pass helping to contribute towards improvements to the likes of public toilets and wastewater infrastructure, while also helping the region provide more council-owned sites.

The move comes after public consultation earlier this year saw residents suggest fees for campervans as a way of raising council income and maintaining and improving visitor infrastructure amid rising demand.

Allan Gunn, assistant chief executive (corporate) at Highland Council, said: “The launch of the Highland Campervan and Motorhome Scheme is understood to be the first of its kind by any UK local authority.

“‘Conscious travellers’ who opt for the seven-day pass have access to scheme benefits that will support continued improvements to services such as public toilets, wastewater infrastructure, and environmental and ecological protections.

“There is an identified need for facilities to accommodate campervans, motorhomes, roof tents and people who are using vehicles for short stayovers.

“This scheme offers an opportunity for the Council to continue to support local priorities relating to tourism and visitor management. The Highland Council has also committed funds that will be invested towards improving the existing infrastructure and to provide more council-owned sites.”

James Martin, director of sport, leisure and safeguarding at High Life Highland, said: “We very much welcome the introduction of the Campervan and Motorhome Scheme and are delighted to be able to offer High Life Highland showering and changing facilities to those holiday makers who choose to purchase the seven-day pass.

“Most visitors like to do the right thing when it comes to touring round the Highlands and I am sure the scheme will prove popular, particularly with those who like to ‘give something back’ with a contribution from the funds raised going towards projects that will help conserve and enhance our natural environment.”

The cost of the weekly pass will also provide inclusive overnight parking in specified car parks throughout the region.

A contribution from scheme payments will also be made to the Highland Restoration Fund which helps support projects that deliver nature restoration, safeguard wildlife, and tackle the causes of biodiversity loss due to climate change.

For further information and details about joining the Highland Campervan and Motorhome Scheme, visit www.highland.gov.uk/motorhome.

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