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Six sites will be located within walking distance of towns across North Wales, which say the developments will boost their economies and attract more tourism. The small stopover sites, which are common in France, often include public car parks so families can sleep in their campervans overnight.
Gwynedd Council, which is led by Wales’ nationalist party Plaid Cymru, has received £240,000 in funding from Welsh Government to develop the project, North Wales Live reports.
Residents have largely backed the move, with some pointing out that the “aires” across France typically enhance tourism.
One local posted on Facebook: “Excellent, it’s about time. The aires in France are excellent and enhance tourism and spending. They are nothing to be worried about as every aire we went in was treated with respect. I really hope the trial works well.”
Another posted: “Fantastic idea, owning a campervan and living in Wales, I would much rather stay local and spend my hard-earned cash on small local businesses. North Wales needs tourism.”
It’s also argued the sites will help reduce illegal and inappropriate parking of campervans.
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One woman said on Facebook: “Providing parking and facilities for this type of visitor in pub car parks could be the key to keeping our struggling village/rural pubs in business, but most pub car parks can’t be adapted.
“It’s a longer season and the numbers are growing.”
Another user wrote: “Excellent, it works in France very well.”
And one man stated: “It’s going to stop the mass gathering of vans in areas with no toilets, who ignore the no overnight signs.”
Dafydd Williams, head of Environment for Gwynedd Council, said: “Gwynedd Council has undertaken significant research into motorhomes in the county and has listened to the views of communities, motorhome owners and campsite operators in order to understand illegal or inappropriate overnight stays within the county.
“Through the Brilliant Basics funded project we will pilot a network of up to six ‘Aros-fan’ sites across Gwynedd which will provide appropriate overnight provision for motorhomes and campervans with their own onboard facilities.”
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