Tightening transport rules could curb tourism growth, say holiday parks

BH&HPA says parks can face headaches when arranging the transportation of holiday caravans

HOLIDAY PARKS IN THE UK say they fear that the brakes will be put on Britain’s thriving tourism sector by police restrictions on transporting large or heavy loads.

The concerns of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association (BH&HPA) are contained in a new independent research paper on the economic impact of the tightened measures.

The association represents over 2,500 parks in Britain, including residential parks which are also facing difficulties with the transportation of park homes.

The research report was commissioned by the Road Haulage Association, along with BH&HPA and other concerned bodies, and was carried out by the Centre for Economics & Business Research.

The report urges the police to behave consistently and fairly in its application of regulations on moving large and heavy cargos, known as “abnormal loads”.

At present, they say, police forces are imposing a range of different restrictions on the times of the day when abnormal loads can be moved, and the notice they require to give permission.

“Parks rely on the transportation of abnormal loads for moving holiday caravans or park homes, and for the equipment needed for construction projects” said BH&HPA Deputy Director General Katherine Squires.

“Restrictions on abnormal loads transportation leads to significant logistical challenges for the parks industry, and these costs impact the broader economy, as this report shows.

“Safety, of course, remains the main priority when such cargos are moved – but we are keen to work with authorities to ensure this is maintained without disadvantaging park businesses.

“The current inconsistency means an increase in operating costs and a delay on projects. We want to see a consistent and fair approach taken across the UK,” said Ms Squires.

The report’s researchers say that the escalating expense and bureaucracy associated with abnormal load movements are costing the haulage sector an estimated £16,8m a year.

It says this is having a knock-on effect on other parts of the economy with housing, manufacturing and construction being hit, along with holiday and residential parks.

The main points at issue, say researchers, are the delays caused by police demands for extended periods of notice, and inconsistent embargoes on the times of day when loads can be transported.

In addition, they say, additional carbon dioxide emissions are being caused as hauliers seek alternative and often longer routes to avoid problem areas.

An “abnormal load” is defined as weighting over 44,000kg (43.3 tons) or having a width over 2.9 metres (9.5 feet) or a length of over 18.65 metres (61 feet)