Fury over decision to open some car parks along coast

Lincolnshire County Council has defended a decision to open its coastal car parks in spite of fears more visitors to the area will put lives at risk from Covid-19..

There are concerns after LCC allowed its car parks to be opened.

Local councils have faced some challenging decisions following the government announcement people can now travel for the day to take exercise.

Yesterday, East Lindsey District Council stressed the 'Coast is Still Closed' when it announced it would be keeping its car parks shut to protect residents, in spite of losing millions of pounds. from tourism during lockdown.

However, there was outcry when it emerged the car parks run by LCC along a four-mile stretch of the Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park from Chapel Six Marshes to Huttoft Car Terrace would be open to the public, with many fearing visitors will head to their villages increasing their chances of catching the virus.

Coun Graham Fisher, of Anderby Creek Parish Council, told the Standard: residents are already frightened this will 'open the floodgates to visitors unable to park further up the coast'.

"There are a lot of elderly and vulnerable people in Anderby Creek and they are frightened they will become prisoners in their own homes because they do not want to risk going out and catching the virus from visitors.

"If people come to the coast and find East Lindsey's car parks closed they may try further up the coast and this will just open the floodgates to problems.

"When it is safe we will welcome visitors, but not now."

Sources tell us LCC arrived at the decision because the car parks in question are mainly down narrow roads and there was concerns if people found they were still closed there would be uncontrolled parking on the roads, which would give rise to other enforcement issues and problems

It was hoped people would take a personal responsibility and not make long distance journeys to the coast, where other facilities including cafes and toilets were closed.

Coun Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said: "The government has indicated that people can travel more widely now and take exercise while maintaining social distancing.

"We know that people from the local area will be visiting Lincolnshire's beaches to exercise, so to avoid on street parking and disruption to residents, wherever possible, we've opened the Coastal Country Park car parks.

"However, this doesn't mean tourist attractions are open for holidaymakers. There are no toilets, no restaurants, no cafes or other facilities open."