BCP Council welcomes thousands to beaches

Soaring temperatures brought more than 100,000 visitors to the region’s award-winning beaches this weekend.

With an additional £1.7m investment into our summer readiness plans, BCP Council was ready to welcome them with numerous safety and environmental initiatives.

Prior to the weekend, the council installed 150 water refill stations along the seafront with charity City to Sea, in a bid to reduce plastic waste and keep thirsty beachgoers hydrated.

The council also released information to residents and visitors through media, BCP Council social media channels and by email to more than 27,000 residents, detailing initiatives to help keep traffic moving and keep the resort clean.

This included asking people to download our BCP Council Beach Check app, which is the best way to stay up-to-date with the availability of spaces in our car parks. Our social media messaging advised people to use our Park & Ride service for £5 and suggested they try Avenue Road and Richmond Gardens car parks. These are often quieter than those nearer the seafront.

Additional staff was also put into place to manage car parks and arrival points, with a contracted tow away company to deal with anyone parking irresponsibly across the BCP Council area.

BCP Council also put in place additional cleansing of our toilet facilities and waste collections. Messaging throughout the weekend encouraged residents and visitors to be environmentally conscious, particularly in relation to litter and rubbish disposal.

Cllr Bobbie Dove, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Regulatory Services, said: “We are incredibly proud of our stunning coastline and welcome all visitors to share and enjoy our beautiful region.

“We expected a very busy weekend because of the weather. In response, we put in a huge amount of resources to ensure we were prepared for an influx of everyone enjoying a concentrated area of our towns. The result was that visitors’ time in BCP was enjoyable for all.

“On our seafront, our water refill stations and beach barbeques were really popular and well used over the weekend, which helped to cut down on waste from disposable barbeques and plastic bottles.

“Our LV=KidZone, which is a child safety scheme that runs across our beaches every summer to coincide with the school holidays, also helped reunite 50 children with their families and carers.

“Most visitors took care to use the many bins provided and we thank them for that. Early data shows that 35 tonnes of waste was collected from BCP’s seafront bins alone this morning. By 10am today our clean up teams had done a sterling job and we were ready for business again. We encourage everyone to do the responsible thing, so, if you can’t find a bin or find one that’s full, hold onto it until you spot another bin or please take it home.

“Every seafront car park was filled by 8am, but with people already travelling from further afield, there was naturally pressure on the roads. This was eased in part by the Council’s summer park and ride at Kings Park to Boscombe which was used by over 800 people across the weekend.

“Our enforcement teams were out and issued nearly 1500 parking tickets on Saturday and Sunday, which was 300 more than the same number issued during the same sunny weekend this time last year. Our teams were also supported by tow trucks who removed a number of vehicles from our streets at problem locations.

“Disappointingly illegal parking at East Overcliff Drive resulted in disruption to some bus services. The Council is reviewing this and have already looked into putting in measures to prevent a repeat of this.

“Overall, our parking colleagues did a fantastic job in challenging circumstances, and we recognise that irresponsible parking impacts most on our residents and businesses along our coastline.

“It’s set to be another busy few days and throughout the Summer holidays, so we ask that everyone coming to visit us plays their part in treating residential areas with respect and uses our Beach Check app for real-time information on parking, or use our fantastic Park and Ride services.

“Additionally, we know people love our beaches, after all we’ve got some of the best in the UK, but overnight camping is not welcome nor is it permitted. Fly campers will be robustly dealt with by fixed penalty notices, with fines of up to £1,000.

“Anyone camping on the beach would have had an uncomfortable night’s sleep last night as our Beach Patrol team would have been visiting them to carry out hourly wake up calls.

“I would recommend anyone wishing to stay overnight in Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole to book into one of the good selection of hotels or B&Bs in our area.

“We are determined to give visitors that wow factor so that we make sure they leave with amazing memories, but we also recognised that local people have the desire to get out and enjoy the beautiful area they are lucky enough to live in too.

“We welcome visitors to come here and have a great time. But as usual – to treat our resort with respect, clean up after themselves, be considerate and stay safe.”