New booking system for Durdle Door and fines for illegal parking

In a bid to prevent a repeat of last weekend’s scenes at Durdle Door when beach overcrowding and reckless behaviour stretched the emergency services and endangered public health, new multi-agency measures are being put in place for the Dorset beauty spot, privately owned by the Lulworth Estate.

The new approach includes a new pre-booking system for the Lulworth Estate car parks, more marshalls warning of the dangers of tombstoning and an increased number of parking wardens who will be issuing fines to people who park illegally. Visitors will also be encouraged to take their litter home.

Rubbish at Durdle Door
Jan Clubb

Rubbish left at Durdle Door last weekend

This was agreed in a conference call this morning, Friday 5th June 2020, with representatives from Dorset Council, Dorset Police, Lulworth Estate, South West Ambulance Trust and the MP for South Dorset, Richard Drax.

The authorities admit that their hands are tied

Now that coronavirus travel guidance allows people unrestricted travel across England as long as they don’t stay overnight, the authorities admit that their hands are tied.

Chief Constable James Vaughan for Dorset Police said:

“We are doing all we can to keep people safe, but we have very few powers given to us by parliament following the easing of lockdown. We enforce the law and cannot enforce social distancing, which is government guidance. Personal responsibility is key as we all enjoy these new freedoms.”

Ask people to “stay local”

Dorset Council says its position has not changed since the Leader of Dorset Council, Councillor Spencer Flower wrote to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson calling for a change in the government’s advice, to limit travel to a person’s local area..

In the letter, Councillor Spencer Flower wrote:

“My plea to the government is to review the travel advice currently in place and instead ask people to “stay local”. I am concerned that we will see a second wave of infection here in Dorset as a result of the high number of visitors to the area over recent days. I’m asking the government to act now to save the lives of Dorset residents.”

The letter was sent on Monday and so far, the council’s media team say they are not aware of any official response.

“We cannot afford a repeat of the incidents that happened last weekend”

Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset, Martyn Underhill added:

“To those thinking about coming here again, squeezing onto overcrowded beaches or taking part in hazardous activities, I ask you to please search your consciences.

“We cannot afford a repeat of the incidents that happened last weekend. The COVID-19 emergency is far from over and everyone must take responsibility for controlling the spread of the disease. If this irresponsible behaviour continues, sadly it will be people of our county who could pay the price.”

Share this story

Contact us

Do you have anything to add to this story?

We like to keep everything up-to-date, so if you know more, please help us by getting in touch.

Community comments

Top stories

Crisis in Swanage care home as residents and staff get Covid Wordsworth House Care Home in Swanage is appealing for more qualified staff to come to their aid after 34 residents and 30 staff tested positive for coronavirus. 1 month ago Swanage Coastguard subjected to “unnecessary aggression” 2 weeks ago Lockdown 3 – Swanage takeaway and shops to get you through the worst sequel ever 2 months ago Swanage seafront hit by large waves and flying sea foam 2 weeks ago Urgent appeal as pandemic impacts staffing at local hospitals 4 weeks ago

Most recent

Swanage councillors disown leaflet about proposed gypsy site Councillor Gary Suttle and councillor Bill Trite who represent Swanage on Dorset Council say they did not write a leaflet that objects to a proposed gypsy site in Swanage. 13 hours ago Ban on barbecues put on back burner by Dorset Council 2 days ago January – worst month for Covid deaths in Swanage 2 days ago Lulworth Estate demands better manners from visitors this summer 3 days ago Free PPE for Swanage’s unpaid carers 4 days ago