Trenches dug on Shingle Street to stop tourists parking at beauty spot
Angus Williams and Tim Bradford
- Credit: GOOGLE MAPS
Trenches have been dug to deter campervans from parking near a Suffolk beauty spot, as concern is voiced at the number of tourists the area attracts.
The obstacles have been created on the side of Shingle Street, near the Suffolk coast, in an attempt to force tourists and campervans to park in carparks rather than on the side of the road.
James Mallinder, East Suffolk council cabinet member for the environment, said: "It's only in one place, which is on Shingle Street. It's privately owned lands and the roads goes through it.
"It's basically to encourage the use of provided parking areas along Shingle Street.
"It's effectively a single track and people were parking along the along the verge and then blocking access."
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Suffolk Highways is understood to have inspected the site, and a spokesman for Suffolk County Council said the highways team was continuing to monitor the situation.
Mr Mallinder said he was aware of residents concerns over the number of tourists that were visiting the area.
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"These things have to be controlled," he said. "There is a level where too many tourists can be detrimental to the community, the wildlife and to biodiversity.
"We ask people to be considerate on parking and taking their litter home. And to think, not just about the residents that live here, but also our wonderful wildlife."
He said the area was ill-suited to deal with the number of tourists that have descended upon it throughout the pandemic.
"We don't have the infrastructure here," he said. "The roads are old and single-track. There's no toilets or restaurants.
"It's not a tourist centre. Sometimes I think visitors forget that. They're expecting picnic tables and public conveniences, and all the rest. And you know, we just don't provide that because it's not that sort of area."
He added that errant parking had been a problem elsewhere in east Suffolk.
He said that all three responsible councils had worked together to "re-jig" the parking in Bawdsey Quay.
"We've put in some bollards to prevent parking on the road because it's causing deterioration on the edge of the estuary," he said. "That's in situ now and is helping a great deal in controlling the parking.
"It's just guiding people where to park correctly."
A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: "The digging of the trenches was bought to our attention several months ago, along with concerns of safety and areas of potential flooding.
"We will continue to monitor the area should works or action be required.
"Consent was not given for this work to be carried out, and we request that no further works are undertaken.
"If parking concerns remain, please contact Suffolk Highways’ Licensing and Enforcement Team."