Beaches pass new guidelines over safety

SCARBOROUGH’S golden sands are riding the crest of a wave after passing new stringent national safety guidelines.

The North Bay and South Bay stretches came under the spotlight in a detailed Environment Agency report highlighting pollution risks at more than 500 beaches around the country.

Scarborough’s beaches, which provide the sun-kissed backdrop for thousands of holidaymakers and visitors every year, were classed as satisfactory with the town’s waters passing all safety checks.

The information comes a year after the launch of a huge campaign to tidy the tourist magnets and just days after a major clean-up exercise collected more than 20 bags of litter from the South Bay beach alone.

The moves have been welcomed by Steve Crawford, Scarborough’s representative for Surfers Against Sewage, who said the group had been campaigning for such information to be made public.

He added it was imperative people were kept informed about the standard of the town’s bathing water, which, if allowed to deteriorate, would negatively impinge on the tourist trade.

Mr Crawford, who is a surfing instructor, said: “I hope this will make a difference because the more information they can make public the better.

“We can take people in the water but if they see that and the beach in a poor state we might never see them again.

“That is why so it is important they are looking the best they can be.

“I hope this will be a help for and attract more people to come into the town.”

The reports highlighted a number of factors surrounding pollution including the location of storm, emergency and surface water outfall pipes as well as information on the amount of seaweed and algae which can detract from the quality of bathing waters.

They added: “Surface waters draining to the north beach have the potential to affect bathing water on the south beach but Yorkshire Water is designing a new scheme to improve treated and storm effluents which will be completed by 2014 and this will help improve bathing water quality.

“Investigations also show that Scarborough Sewage Treatment Works are not having an affect on bathing water.”

Ed Mitchell, director of Environment and Business at the Environment Agency, added: “The new profiles provide the most comprehensive information yet on the cleanliness of bathing waters, helping the public to make more informed choices about the best locations to bathe.

“But we are not complacent and are working hard to tackle all sources of pollution, alongside beach users, local authorities, farmers and water companies.”

Filey and Whitby beaches were also included in the scheme and passed the safety standards.