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.

Thursday, 2nd April 2020, 3:19 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd April 2020, 6:57 pm

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.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Police patrol Trow Quarry car park, South Shields.

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.

But many people are reported to be travelling further away from their homes undertake their daily exercise.

Whitburn Bents car park.

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.

The car park at the Little Haven hotel on the seafront.

“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.

Harbour Drive North closed off to the public.

“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.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you

How to subscribe to the print edition

It’s easy to subscribe to your local newspaper. We have arranged a special 20 per cent off subscription offer for people to take advantage of. Visit www.localsubsplus.co.uk, choose the newspaper title, the type of subscription and enter your details.