‘Our village is not a tourist attraction’ - Anger over number of day trippers

PUBLISHED: 08:24 20 May 2020 | UPDATED: 12:11 20 May 2020

This picture was taken at Overstrand.

This picture was taken at Overstrand.

(c) copyright

People living in North Norfolk have raised concerns over the number of day trippers to the coastline’s small towns and villages following the easing of lockdown.

A closed coastal car park in Sheringham. Picture: Brittany WoodmanA closed coastal car park in Sheringham. Picture: Brittany Woodman

The concerns include people parking on double yellow lines, flouting social distancing rules and not respecting the places they are visiting.

One Overstrand resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said they had noticed a large number of visitors to the village in recent days.

They said: “I couldn’t believe how many people there were on the sea front on Monday, most of whom had children with them and were oblivious to other people around them.

“Many appeared unaware of social distancing guidance and made no effort to move aside to enable others to pass safely.

Sarah Butikofer, leader of North Norfolk District Council. Photo: Sarah ButikoferSarah Butikofer, leader of North Norfolk District Council. Photo: Sarah Butikofer

“The government has created a situation where people are now within their rights to come here if they want, but the relaxed lockdown does not give people the right to park on double yellow lines and ignore social distancing guidelines.

“Day-trippers need to respect the fact that this village is home to a largely elderly population and not a tourist attraction.”

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Bruce Stratton, chairman of Overstrand Parish Council, said he had noticed a slight increase in visitors to the coast over the weekend.

He said: “I think generally everybody is concerned but we must consider that Boris Johnson has said that people can come to the beaches as long as they social distance.

This picture was taken at Overstrand. This picture was taken at Overstrand.

“I think we have to come to terms with that and there’s not much we can do, we have to be prepared to be aware.”

READ MORE: Seaside holiday park hits out at ‘selfish’ day-trippers

Sarah Butikofer, leader of North Norfolk District Council, said she had received a number of emails and calls from people concerned about the number of visitors to the coast over the weekend and their behaviour.

She said: “The one location I visited myself, it’s a location where we don’t have public toilets and sadly visitors don’t treat the area how you would expect them to which is extremely upsetting.”

“I have never seen that carpark looking like it was on Sunday, and apparently it was busier before I got there.”

Mrs Butikofer said the council was looking at whether or not to reopen car parks and public toilets on a daily basis, each time consulting with the relevant parish council.

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She said: “We have been going back to the parish councils and asked them what they would like us to do.

“People will act irresponsibly even in places were we open carparks and toilets. What was very interesting was towns like Cromer and Sheringham were busier [at the weekend] but not substantiality busier, it seems to me most of the visitors went to smaller locations.

“It’s a really, really difficult one, people are still frightened up here and [the council] has had a huge number of emails saying thank you for keeping things shut, the majority of residents don’t want people to come and visit so it’s a really fine balancing act.”

Mrs Butikofer urged anyone with concerns to email or telephone the council, she said; “Please do let me know, my inbox is here for residents I do respond and I’m happy to help where I can.”

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