Scarborough's seafront roads will be closed this weekend in bid to stop day trippers

Scarborough’s seafront roads are to be closed to vehicles this weekend in a bid to stop people flocking to the coast now that Covid-19 travel restrictions have been lifted.

By Carl Gavaghan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Thursday, 14th May 2020, 2:08 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th May 2020, 2:10 pm

North Yorkshire County Council has announced it will close Royal Albert Drive and Marine Drive to cars to ensure that pedestrians are able to stay two metres apart.

On-street parking in Whitby will also be restricted.

The council has also warned people planning on a trip to the coast that they will be unable to wash their hands as public toilets are closed and will struggle to get parked due to car park closures.

Royal Albert Drive. Picture: Steve Bambridge/ JPI Media

The county’s executive member for Access, Cllr Don Mackenzie, said: “We appreciate that many people will want to make the most of the fact that they can now travel to take their exercise and stay outdoors for longer.

“However, too many people have made too many sacrifices for us to lose sight of the risks with this virus. So we are asking people to plan ahead.

“To consider the fact that many places offer very limited handwashing and toilet facilities and where they are open there will almost certainly be queues.

“Paths and pavements may well be really busy, making staying at least two metres apart almost impossible.

“On top of that, we have taken the decision to temporarily close our large on-street parking facilities in Whitby.

“We will also close Marine Drive and Royal Albert Drive to restrict parking and to provide more space for pedestrians to apply the social distancing guidelines.

“Throughout the weekend we will monitor the number of pedestrians and we may have to close more roads to protect the public as best we can.”

Chief executive of North Yorkshire County Council, Richard Flinton, added: “Please adhere to any ‘no parking’ and ‘road closed’ signs you come across and ask yourself if it’s worth it.

“Why not do the right thing and protect yourself and your family by staying close to home? Everything will still be here when it’s safe to welcome you back and we are really grateful for your patience and support.”

Health bosses also warned that people could help those who had sacrificed so much to keep the number of cases down in North Yorkshire by simply staying home.

Dr Lincoln Sargeant, North Yorkshire’s director of Public Health, said: “We have come a long way and seen incredible sacrifice in North Yorkshire. Many front line staff are still risking their own lives every day to care for people with Covid-19. Please don’t let their selflessness and commitment be for nothing.

“Let’s carry on fighting this virus in the same way we have been. By sticking to the basic guidance that we know works.

“In Scarborough and Whitby and other coastal resorts, the borough council’s car parks and toilets remain closed. Across the county the vast majority of shops and cafes are also closed. Anyone heading to the countryside or coast is advised to think carefully about the risks and to exercise in open spaces away from the most popular places. No parking signage will be in place at the above places from tomorrow and through the weekend.”

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