Farmers' fields could help avert coastal parking chaos

parking at Brancaster

Police cone off the Beach Road at Brancaster after parking problems last summer - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

Farmers' fields could be pressed into service to provide extra parking for coastal visitors.

There were problems along the Beach Road at Brancaster last summer, as thousands flocked to the coast.

Police coned off parts of the road to allow traffic to keep flowing, while there were also problems at nearby Thornham and Burnham Overy Staithe, where coastal buses were unable to get through cars park on the sides of narrow lanes around the harbour.

Problems are expected to peak at Brancaster towards the end of this month, when high tides during the day means the beach car park will be cut off and people will have to park elsewhere.

A large influx of visitors is expected once the weather warms, after lockdown eases again on April 12 and and families can stay in holiday lets, second homes and guest houses.

Andrew Jamieson, county councillor for the North Coast, has organised meetings with police and parish councils to discuss the issues.

"I invited the police to come and talk to councillors about what can b done and what can't be done from April 12," he said. "There's a short-term situation developing we have to deal with from the bottom-up.

"The police said expecting us to be able to ticket our way out of the problem is not realistic. We have to be a little more inventive.

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"What they suggested is parishes may look at land they own or land that's in the hands of farmers that could be used for overflow parking and earn a little income from that."

Mr Jamieson said "one or two" people had so far come forward. He added: "Lockdown has deprived people of their normal lives. Lifting of lockdown is going to mean people want to get out and enjoy the countryside. 

"We need to be aware, we who live on the coast need to be sympathetic to that."

He added visitors also needed to be sympathetic towards the locals and not park inconsiderately, or leave litter behind them.