Calls for European-style aires in UK to meet growing motorhome demand

The United Kingdom should be seeking to implement a network of European-style aires to provide one night stopovers for its increasing number of motorhome and campervan users, according to the owner of one of the country’s leading outdoor accommodation specialists. Dan Yates, owner and founder of believes there is a gap in the market for a network of aires in the UK, which could help to reduce pressures on overnight parking and support local economies.

“Meeting the growing demand could bring substantial benefits to communities too,” said Dan.

“Aires can provide much-needed income for farmers in rural areas, bring cash into the local economy in towns, and also ensure that owners of these vehicles have somewhere safe and responsible to park.”

The Campaign for Real Aires (CAMpRA) was established to lobby for more aires in the UK, and provides a central source of information on how towns and small businesses can benefit from the year-round revenue stream by providing simple overnight parking and waste points. A spokesman for CAMpRA said: “British motorhome owners returning from Europe ask one question - ‘why does the UK not have the same aires (motorhome parking) system as Europe?’

“We are decades behind Europe and we have a huge gap in the UK market for the provision of motorhome tourism facilities, aires, that will help keep British motorhomes and their spending power here, and attract more European motorhome owners to this country.”

A growing motorhome population

The UK’s National Caravan Council (NCC) said that 16,608 new motorhomes were registered with the  Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in the 12 months from 1 July 2020 to the end of June 2021. This represented an 8.25 per cent increase on the previous record, which was achieved in the 2018/19 period. The boom has been attributed to Covid restrictions on travel, the ability to carry out other outdoor pursuits while on a campervan holiday, and the prevalence of WiFi internet connectivity on sites that allows people who have been working from home to work from anywhere.