Motor-homes car parking request put on hold after public backlash

A bid by a motor-home group to take up a five-day residence in a Hawick car park has been put on hold following a public backlash last year.
Campervans On Common HaughCampervans On Common Haugh
Campervans On Common Haugh

Motorhome Fun Club members visit Hawick up to three times a year giving the town a much-needed economic boost.

The group want to bring camper-vans to Hawick for a rally from Thursday, March 21 to Monday, March 25 next year.

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The bid is for the top end of the town’s Common Haugh car park to be sectioned off for their ‘exclusive’ use during that period.

But a similar bid agreed last year led to an outcry from townsfolk and others over the consequent lack of space in the area – with the council facing an angry backlash.

In the light of that, members of Hawick Common Good Sub-Committee have delayed a final decision to allow council officers time to review the implications of the request.

Hawick and Hermitage councillor Watson McAteer said: “It’s fair to say I have concerns and it’s not about the motor-homes coming to Hawick, they always do a good job and they spend money and all the things that we want.

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“But we learned from the last episode and rightly or wrongly, and I’m not making any judgements, the council in particular was subject to public and very strong criticism about the way they managed that, we need time to find out what went wrong and how do we get it right.

“We should be referring it back to our officers who are at the front of this and who suffered the abuse at the time and ask whether they can manage and deal with this.”

Hawick and Denholm’s councillor Neil Richards agreed, adding: “For me, it seems that it’s a free car park and once we start allocating things it gets complicated, so I’m going with what Watson suggests.”

Committee chair Clair Ramage said the issue the bid raised was the need for a permanent location in Hawick to park up and stay.

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She added: “This was initially an issue about motor-homers coming for an overnight stay and we’ve seen 40 or even more and they park throughout the car park but the period they are asking to book it is the Reivers Festival so obviously we have the shows in there as well and it proved very difficult.”

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