Coastal car parks open for locals

Friday June 19th 2020

East Lothian

Electronic signs on East Lothian's coastal road warn people will not find relief at its beaches


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Coastal car parks across East Lothian have now reopened but people are being warned only to go if they live locally.

East Lothian Council had previously opened smaller car parks at local beauty spots but kept the larger beach car parks closed.

However, it has now opened all its car parks and electronic signs have been installed on coastal roads warning people that public toilets remain closed and to stay local.

Daily charges for using the car parks, which are in place at 11 popular beaches, are £2.

In Gullane, where people have been continuing to visit the golden sands in good weather, residential streets closest to the closed beach-side car park have , at times, been very busy.

So East Lothian Council is introducing temporary residents’ only access on some of the village’s roads.

With good weather predicted for the weekend, the council urged people to stick to the rules and only go to the coast if it is within five miles of their homes.

 
 

Councillor Norman Hampshire, depute council leader and cabinet spokesperson for the environment, warned that progress in the fight against Covid-19 remained “fragile”.

He said: “Progress in tackling COVID-19 is being made across Scotland. I’d like to thank the people of East Lothian for their support, patience and understanding throughout this period.

“It’s clear, however, that this progress remains fragile. The virus has taken its toll on far too many people and their families across the country.

“Our larger coastal car parks have re-opened – which is something I know many East Lothian local residents will welcome – but I would continue to urge everyone to remain in their local area as much as possible for outdoor leisure and exercise.

“We have been taking a phased approach to re-opening and, given the instances of inappropriate parking on streets and roadsides observed during recent good weather, we believe it is appropriate for the larger car parks to now be open.

“In line with government advice, public toilets remain closed.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors from further afield to our coastal and countryside sites, and elsewhere in East Lothian, when it is safe to do so – you will receive a warm welcome.

“But at the moment we would ask that people do not travel for recreation from out with their local area, as requested by the Scottish Government.

“This will help avoid unnecessary travel or larger gatherings and put unnecessary pressure on infrastructure, which is particularly important at a time when progress in tackling COVID-19 remains so fragile.”

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