Devon gridlock caused by cars 'from all over the UK'

Devon gridlock caused by cars 'from all over the UK'

Image caption

The beach car park at Saunton Sands was described as looking “like August”

Cars from “all over the UK” have been seen in traffic gridlock in north Devon, police said.

Roads towards the coast are jammed and drivers are being urged not to travel there, Devon and Cornwall Police said.

A car park for Saunton Sands beach, near Braunton, was described by a BBC cameraman as “looking like August”.

Nearby Woolacombe was also described “a particular pinch point“, with drivers parking on double yellow lines in the town.

Officers tweeted traffic heading to beaches was “exceptionally busy” and beach car parks were shut to new cars.

Staff at the Saunton Sands asked motorists to drive on, while they try and maintain control over access to the car park.

Police also warned motorists against abandoning their cars elsewhere, saying they should follow police advice when near beaches to avoid becoming trapped in smaller lanes.

Public toilets and other amenities in the area remain closed, drivers were warned.

One officer said the area’s elderly population would be “very anxious over the selfish actions of these individuals”.

Another officer said cars mounted pavements between Woolacombe and Mortehoe “to get by whilst pedestrians try to cross the road”.

They said all offences were being recorded and would “be processed in due course”.

Tourism bosses in Cornwall and Devon were united in saying visitors should “stay away” as Covid-19 lockdown restrictions were eased in England.

Under the new guidelines, households are able to drive to other destinations in England, such as parks and beaches.

However, tourism body Visit Devon said people should restrict journeys “to no more than one hour and only visit our region for short day trips” as the county’s rural communities “lacked the infrastructure and NHS facilities to be able to cope with an influx” of coronavirus cases.

Image caption

Staff at the Saunton Sands car park have been asking motorists to keep driving on

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