Vehicles could be banned from Brean beach in an effort to stop crowds visiting during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Brean Parish Council is considering temporarily closing off the gates to the beach to prevent people travelling to the village from further afield for their daily exercise during the current lockdown.
The beach at Brean was also closed last year to motorists. No final decision on whether to close the beach to vehicles has yet been made and the Parish Council is currently in discussions with Avon and Somerset Police.
Some locals have expressed a concern that if the beach is closed to vehicles, people will instead park along nearby roads, as was seen last year and we reported here.
Councillors will meet virtually on Monday January 18th to discuss the matter, unless an agreement can be reached between councillors and Police ahead of the meeting, enabling the ban to come into force this weekend. Walkers will still be able to access the beach.
Brean resident Colin Davis told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “I was watching Professor Whitty’s plea to the nation on the BBC this week as someone who works in wards as a volunteer in his spare time. There was obvious despair in his voice asking individuals to do the right thing to stop the spread of this killer virus. My thoughts were, ‘why are there so many selfish ‘Covid Idiots’ who flout the rules and make their way to Brean Beach from afar’?”
“The one and only important thing is to stop the virus spreading. Closing the beach to vehicles doesn’t stop locals from using the beach and the locals are the only people who should access the beach under the lockdown guidelines.”
“The beach is accessible from Brean Down to Burnham-On-Sea and accessible by all on foot. By leaving the beach car park open, the Brean Parish Council are facilitating, attracting and condoning those flouting the law. I find it embarrassing that a local government body has to be pressurised by residents and the Police to even think about acting.”
Brean Parish Council chairman Councillor Trevor Hicks says: “The Parish Council is reviewing the situation together with the police. We have a meeting with the police on what is the best course of action to take. We will also be discussing measures with other councillors and a decision will be made imminently.”
Police carried out patrols of Brean Down and Brean beach last weekend to check whether people are ignoring the current regulations. While no-one was issued with a fine, officers did give advice.
Another resident, who asked not to be named, added: “The PCSO has advised us that for travel to be considered local you should remain your own Post Code area.”
Pictured: Busy beach scenes at Brean last summer with vehicles parked up