A Norfolk council is preparing for a summer of increased visitors with a new park and ride, extra parking and new food stalls for local businesses.

At a meeting on Wednesday evening, North Norfolk councillors heard proposed plans for managing the expected increase in visitors as lockdown starts to ease and more people visit the coast.

Steve Blatch, the council’s chief executive said: “We expect this will be a very busy summer because of the lifting of Covid restrictions now and the uncertainty of being able to travel abroad.”

He added: “We want to ensure that everyone who visits the district has a positive experience.

“Our coastal towns become congested and very busy at peak times and we think there will be even more this summer.”

Councillors were informed about a series of recommendations:

  • Chargeable weekend and bank holiday parking at the council offices on Holt Road in Cromer

  • Proposed park and ride service to Sheringham, working with a landowner on the A148 operating through July and August

  • Food court area to serve takeaway/street food by local businesses in the vacant former tennis court area of North Lodge Park, Cromer

  • Extra road signage promoting Runton car park in Cromer, including overflow ‘carnival’ field

  • Refreshing social distancing measures and signage where appropriate

  • Extra litter bins and public toilets in main visitor areas

  • Composting toilet at the Beach Road car park in Weybourne

Alongside these measures, Mr Blatch said they wanted to work with Visit Norfolk to promote less busy areas of the district, in particular, those away from the coast.

“We are very fortunate in having very attractive landscape and spaces away from the coast where people can enjoy picnics, less-visited places, that people might want to explore and are less congested areas.”