Closure Of Coastal Car Parks
Coastal car parks in South Tyneside have been closed to reinforce government rules around social distancing and the avoidance of unnecessary journeys during the coronavirus pandemic.
Following discussions with the police, the Council has shut its Foreshore car parks after complaints about the number of people driving to these locations from all over the region, which is against government guidance.
As part of social distancing measures to curb the spread of COVID 19, government has advised that people should take one form of exercise daily and this should be from home; they should not make unnecessary journeys.
To support this message, the eight Council-owned seafront car parks in the Borough have closed until further notice.
Cllr Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council, 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."
All Foreshore car parks have been closed off with barriers.
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."
Charges in all other council-owned car parks have been suspended to support key workers during the ongoing crisis.
The following car parks are closed:
- Whitburn Bents
- Marsden Lea
- Trow Quarry
- The Dragon
- South Promenade South
- South Promenade North
- Pier Parade
- Harbour Drive South
- Harbour Drive North
In addition, due to the coronavirus outbreak, the RNLI has made a decision to suspend its RNLI lifeguard patrols. Patrols were due to start on Sandhaven Beach at the end of May.