Couple say change to car park sign has left them both feeling unwelcome

A couple were made to feel like they were unwelcome at their favourite day-trip destination after finding out the car park rules have changed.

Christine and Michael Dawson, both in their sixties, visit Cleethorpes every week in their camper van.

Both of them have health issues that makes travelling difficult – Michael struggles to walk and Christine has IBS and anxiety.

Visiting the same car park earlier this month, as they have a number of times before, the couple found that they were unable to park their motor home in their usual spot.

Christine told GrimsbyLive: “We come to Cleethorpes around once a week, but can only use about three car parks because we both have a number of health conditions, I need to be near a toilet and Michael can’t walk too far. I also have anxiety so can’t go too far from home, but I feel safe when we’re out in the van.”

“I don’t like going to the front too often either as I don’t feel comfortable so where we park is brilliant.”

But, the new sign meant they couldn’t park in that perfect spot anymore as it said “no camper vans or motor homes.”

“When I told my husband, he thought I was joking. We left the car park in search of somewhere we could go, but all the signs said the same thing wherever we looked. We didn’t know what to do or where to go.”

The couple love visiting Cleethorpes, and are “gutted” at the thought that they might not be able to anymore because of the new rules and their health needs.

“Disabled people should be allowed a life too, just because we have a camper van as our main car doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be able to park,” Christine said.

They drove around all day “desperately looking for somewhere we could go.”

Christine doesn’t have any other family, and many of her happy memories are from Cleethorpes.

“This place is the one thing I could cling on to for my memories and after all these years it might just be gone, it’s so upsetting.

“Now I don’t even feel welcome here.”

A spokesperson for North East Lincolnshire Council, who run the car park Christine and Michael attempted to park in, said: “I’d like to apologise to the couple who have highlighted this to us for the inconvenience this has caused them. This was a human error, and the word ‘overnight’ was missed off the current signage.

“We are working towards having a dedicated area for campers and caravans to use in the resort, but that project has been delayed somewhat over the last few years.”

“This, however, has re-highlighted the need, along with the identification in the Masterplan consultation, to get it sorted for our visitors sooner rather than later.”