Full list of closed coastal car parks as police ramp up patrols to stop "non-essential" journeys
Coastal car parks in South Tyneside have been closed to the public as police step up patrols to stop “non-essential” travel in the borough.
The council has closed off eight car parks at a number of popular coastal beauty spots, to encourage people to stay at home to help halt the spread of Covid-19.
Whitburn Bents, Trow Quarry, Harbour Drive North and South and Pier Head are among those sites which were seen padlocked on Thursday, April 2.
Police have also stepped up patrols along the coast, issuing a summons to anyone who refused to comply with the rules.
It comes after it was revealed that the number of people making “non-essential” journeys has increased in recent days.
At the Government’s daily briefing on Wednesday, April 1, Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, revealed motor vehicle usage in Britain has jumped to around a third of usual levels.
In line with the government’s lockdown measures people are only permitted to leave their homes for a few specific reasons, including one form of exercise such as a run, walk or cycle a day.
But many people are reported to be travelling further away from their homes undertake their daily exercise.
Leader of South Tyneside Council, Iain Malcolm, said: “Government have been quite clear in their message that people should stay home unless absolutely necessary.
“People should be exercising close to where they live and should not be driving to beaches or parks in large numbers, and most people are taking that on board.
“However, after discussions with our partners, including the police, we understand some people continue to congregate in these places, which puts them at increased risk of catching or spreading the virus.
“These measures are in place to protect everyone and help halt the spread of this pandemic, therefore we have closed the car parks to reinforce the message and discourage gatherings.
“We all have a part to play in keeping ourselves and others safe and I would urge people to stay home.”
Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt, of Northumbria Police, said: “I would like to thank the overwhelming majority of people who are adhering to the restrictions which are in place to ultimately help keep us all safe.
“From the outset, we have been clear that we will engage with members of the public to explain the restrictions and encourage people to follow them.
“We resolve issues every single day by talking to people and reasoning with them and we will continue with this approach.
“However, if it becomes the case that people are putting others at risk, where appropriate we will make use of the legislation to stop this from happening.”
The following car parks are closed: Whitburn Bents, Marsden Lea, Trow Quarry, The Dragon, South Promenade South, South Promenade North, Pierhead, Pier Parade, Harbour Drive South, Harbour Drive North.