A seasonal response plan set up in readiness to manage the resort’s beaches, town centres, parks and open spaces has been upped as part of the council’s plans to bring about the fastest bounceback for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
A further £2.5million has been added to the council’s seasonal response plans to make sure the resort is prepared for when visitors are able to return.
Councillor Mohan Iyengar, Portfolio holder for Tourism, Leisure and Culture, said; “We’ve already launched our summer plans setting out how we’re preparing to respond to the issues that matter to our residents and following the PM’s roadmap announcement we’ve upped that package further to make sure we are fully prepared.
“Just this year we’ve been voted the UK’s best beach, so this on top of the fact that we’re ranked number five in Europe, means our beaches are amongst the best in the world. We know that when it is safe to do so people will come to our area and that’s a good thing.
“This last year has been tremendously challenging for our tourism and hospitality sector and we’re pulling out all the stops to make 2021 the year of opportunity by engineering the fastest bounceback possible.
“Our hotels, restaurants, bars, cafés, and many more businesses are all gearing up to welcome people back when it’s safe to do so. And we’ve chosen to support our local economy further by putting on Festival Coast Live! – an exciting programme of outdoor activities and pop-up events to create a warm welcoming family atmosphere, for residents and holiday makers alike.
Launching next week (29 March) a multi-agency command control centre (MACC) will be in operation until the end of September and will oversee the seasonal plan’s day and evening operations, responding in real time to issues that arise when the resort experiences an increase in visitor numbers.
An additional 75 seafront staff have been recruited to welcome people, keep the beaches clean and safe, and provide a greater security presence.
In readiness for high traffic volumes the council is putting in place increased traffic management officers at key locations and car parks, including Sandbanks Ferry, Sandbanks car park, Branksome Chine, Alum Chine, Bath Road North/ South car park, Overstrand and Sea Road car park, Avon Beach car park, and Mudeford Quay car park.
Tow away zones will be in operation to deal with illegal parking, and plans are in place to increase the parking enforcement team, with more than 70 civil enforcement officers ready to be deployed in the peak summer months.
Working with transport providers plans are also underway to identify a suitable park and ride site ahead of the peak summer months.
Triple-sized bins are being installed along the seafront to deal with waste, and more daily collections will take place, with manual crews being stood up on days when the promenade is busy.
Around 30 electric BBQs will be installed along the seafront to reduce the use of disposable ones, and a 24 hour beach patrol operation will be in place to deal with incidents of overnight camping and bonfires.
Developments to the BCP BeachCheck app will include car parks so people can check how busy the beaches and car parks are before they arrive.
Extra security patrols, COVID marshals and additional CSAS officers will be deployed on the ground in hot spot areas to provide a uniformed presence and deal with anti-social behaviour and COVID regulations.
Public toilets will remain open with extended opening times into the evenings at key sites, and additional cleansing operations will be in place.
Councillor Iyengar, added; “When it is safe to do so we want people to come to our area. We will be clear though we welcome responsible visitors to our resort. People who will treat things with care, behave reasonably and pick up after themselves. We are determined to give people a great vacation and leave with amazing memories. We want to give local people the confidence to come back out and enjoy their hometowns.”
Last month (February) the council launched a £1million readiness package ahead of the government’s roadmap being announced. The council has now set aside a further £2.5million via additional government grants to fund the enhanced plan.
Dorset Police will have a summer policing plan in place, which includes increasing police resources for key dates and events.
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Mark Callaghan, Dorset Police, said; “We fully expect the numbers of people travelling into Dorset this summer for a staycation to be higher than ever before. We are committed to leading policing operations to deal with the extra demand summer will bring, while still being able to provide effective services to our communities. This will involve working proactively with our partners to coordinate and strengthen plans to keep both residents and visitors safe.
“We will be increasing our visibility and our officers and staff will be out there speaking directly to people in the community.
“We want people to engage with us and if you need to contact Dorset Police, please do so through the most appropriate channel. Always call 999 in an emergency, if your call is not urgent please try our online services first.”
For further information on the council’s summer readiness plans visit bcpcouncil.gov.uk/summerreadiness