Caravan park bans washing lines

Park Holidays UK – Sheerness Holiday Park

Park Holiday UK have started to enforce a long standing rule banning guests from erecting washing lines to dry clothes quoting safety concerns.

The concerns

The claim seems to be that the lines are not always easy to see and children, who are encouraged to run around on the grass between caravans may be harmed in some way. Interestingly the company does also cite aesthetic reasons for not wanting their site cluttered by “highly visible lines of washing.”

Reporting the story

The story was reported on the BBC website where the site manager is quoted as saying the lines posed a danger for playing children, and now that people are tending to use their caravans and hence generating more washing that needs drying they have had to look at the safety aspects of rotary washing lines. However, caravan owners are said to be complaining.

The Telegraph also reported the storey, in a little more detail. They quote the park manager at some length including:
;”This is a very common restriction on many holiday parks throughout the country, and certainly applies without exception on all the 25 parks owned by Park Holiday UK.

“The reasons for the limitation are twofold. Firstly, we are keen to maintain a neat and tidy appearance on our parks for the benefit of all holidaymakers – and highly visible lines of washing are not consistent with this policy.

“Secondly, we have received professional advice that the washing lines themselves, not always readily apparent when not in use, could constitute a health and safety hazard to guests – and to children in particular who we actively encourage to act their age by running around and playing on the grass areas.

“However, we are certainly not leaving our holiday homes owners hanging out to dry.

“Self-attaching window dryers are perfectly acceptable, and the park provides a fully equipped launderette with drying machines which most people prefer to use as they achieve quicker results.”

Is this Seriously Silly?

It is interesting to note that the first concern of the company is the appearance of the sites. It seems that safety is mentioned to somehow make the message seem more important. But there is no suggestion that there have been any accidents, and given that most gardens in the country have washing lines you do have to question if there is any significant risk.

Also, this may be unjustified but if the company are able to make a profit from their guests using tumble driers that may actually be the true incentive for enforcing this ban. But it is hardly an environmentally friendly method of drying clothes.

Should washing lines be allowed?

Given the widespread use of clothes lines and the lack of evidence of any significant risk, banning them on safety groups seems totally disproportionate. Also, there must be options available to have allowed their continued use in safety. Some simple guidelines of where to put the lines in relation to caravans, or even providing communal lines at convenient locations would be easy to achieve.

Finally, there is some irony in the fact that the aesthetic justification highlights that washing lines are highly visible whilst the safety concern seems to be that people will run into them. All seems pretty silly.