Car park closes after visitors flock to Clevedon seafront
PUBLISHED: 17:00 29 May 2020
A Clevedon car park has closed after councillors raised concerns about the influx of visitors to the town’s beach in recent weeks.
Clevedon town and district councillors called on North Somerset Council to shut car parks at Marine Lake, Salthouse Fields and the Esplanade following a sharp rise in visitors to the area since lockdown measures have been eased by Government.
Independent councillor for Clevedon South, Mark Crosby, said Marine Lake on bank holiday Monday and Sunday was ‘packed’ with people visiting from as far afield as Chippenham, Swindon and Bristol.
Since then, a trial closure of Salthouse Fields car park been in force since yesterday (Thursday), and North Somerset Council will monitor the impact this has on nearby residential streets and areas near to the seafront.
Signs have also been put-up across Clevedon seafront reminding people to keep two metres apart and car parking spaces along the beach have been closed to create more space for walkers and cyclists.
Mark said: “Anyone who has visited Clevedon seafront and Marine Lake during the recent hot days will have seen many people simply abandoning any effort at self-distancing. I was so concerned that I commissioned a series of banners to help remind people to keep their distance.”
Mark, as well as Clevedon town councillor Carl Francis-Pester and district councillors Geoff Richardson and Richard Westwood held a conference call with North Somerset executive members and officers on May 22 to highlight their concerns.
Cllr Crosby states Clevedon residents are concerned about the area’s coronavirus R rate number rising, following the news that Weston General Hospital has been closed to new patients since Monday following an increase in Covid-19 cases.
Cllr Crosby added: “Virtually all seaside towns from Portishead to Minehead have urged people not to visit. The Government’s go anywhere advice compromises the lockdown sacrifices made by many people in the community.”
North Somerset’s executive member for parking, Mark Canniford, said Clevedon has seen ‘large visitors numbers’ which has led to social distancing issues.
He said: “We are responding to local, district and town councillor requests to close the car park. We will monitor the closure and will review it if necessary.”
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