New parking charges coming to coast for Easter- and you can only pay by phone or online

New parking charges are being introduced along the Lincolnshire coast to prevent overnight stays by motorhomes users and the rubbish they leave.

Parking charges are being introduces at Lincolnshire County Council car parks along the coast.

The new charges come into effect in time for Easter, starting on Good Friday, April 15, until October - and visitors will only be able to pay by phone, text or online.

Easing of Covid-19 restrictions during the pandemic saw thousands of visitors flocking to the coast to use the free car parks run by Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) - and motorhomes taking up vital spaces.

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Now Lincolnshire County Council wants to free up space "to welcome as many visitors as possible to our beautiful coast".

There is concern motorists will park along the roadside like they did at Anderby Creek after Covid-19 restrictions were eased during the pandemic.

Coun Colin Davie, LCC executive member for environment, and local member for Ingoldmells Rural, said: "As these sites have become more popular, increasingly they are frequented by motorhome users.

"The oversized nature of these vehicles has led to more incidences of obstructive parking, and greatly reduces the space available for other visitors to the beach.

"Also, with no facilities for these vehicles at the car parks, we often see grey water and waste left on site after unauthorised overnight stays."

When parking charges were introduced at Lincolnshire County Council's car park at the North Sea Observatory at Chapel Point, protestors glued up the machines.

There are concerns motorists refusing to pay the new charges will park along roadsides, blocking drives like they did at Anderby Creek when restrictions were eased during the pandemic.

However, Coun Davie said steps have been taken to prevent this.

"Residents have expressed concerns that introducing parking charges could cause drivers to park dangerously on nearby roads," he said.

"As such, we've introduced waiting restrictions on nearby roads to maintain clear visibility at junctions, keep access roads clear and protect private accesses.

"I'm pleased to see that these sites are popular, and by introducing this enforceable parking order, we can ensure there is space to welcome as many visitors as possible to our beautiful coast.”

Coun Graham Fisher, of Anderby Parish Council, who raised concerns about street parking during the pandemic, says he hopes there will be no problems as a result of the changes.

"At the moment I am not worried as I have been promised regular patrols by the wardens," he said.

However, when Lincolnshire World reported the new charges online, some readers were not happy.

Steve Kimberley said: "Just another reason, if I needed one, to avoid the Lincolnshire coast.

"It's gone downhill since I left Chapel."

Satyrus West said: "What a way to drive away business."

Debbie Turner objected to motorhome users being targeted for the waste that has been left behind. "Most motorhomes have their own facilities unlike vans with mattresses thrown in the back," she said.

Nigel Jon pointed out: "There are areas for motorhomes - they are called caravan parks."

Trevor Mansell said: "If people didn't take the p*** then perhaps there would be no charges."

HOW TO PAY

Visitors can pay the new charges via phone, text, online at www.apcoaconnect.com or through the APCOA Connect app.

The parking charges will apply in coastal car parks at Anderby Creek, Chapel Six Marshes, Huttoft, Marsh Yard and Wolla Bank.

Charges will apply from 10am to 5pm. Car parks will be open from 6am to 10pm.

No parking is allowed overnight between 10pm and 6am, and any vehicles over 6m in length are not allowed to use the car parks.

The charges are:

Up to one hour - £1

Up to two hours - £2

Over two hours - £4

Disabled badge holders will be exempt from the charges.

Plan your visit to Lincolnshire’s Coastal Country Park at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/coast-countryside/coastal-country-park.