Car Parking & Toilet Issues w/end 16/17 May

The new Government guidelines effective from Wednesday 13 May 2020 stated “people may drive to outdoor open space irrespective of distance, so long as they respect social distancing while they are there, because this does not involve contact with persons outside your household“.
Those travelling can not go to second homes or stay in hotels or other accommodation. They must return home that day to their address.
Over the weekend 16/17 May 2020 there were problems created by persons visiting the locality. The Parish Council therefore organised a Skype meeting on the 18 May 2020 with Jon Barker National Trust and Councillor Martin Bates Dover DC.

White Cliffs – National Trust 

Jon Barker advised that Government guidance was only received on Friday 15 May 2020. Only a small number of National Trust staff have not been furlonged. The white Cliffs  therefore remained closed. They posted on their website a clear message that  the  car park was still shut and visitors should not come.
Unfortunately a large number of visitors came to the area regardless and this created severe safety issues on the Upper Road, with cars parking on both sides of the road. The National Trust and the Coastguard contacted the Police and this resulted in the road being closed on the 17 May 2020.
The National Trust are currently planning to open the Car Park on Thursday 21 May 2020. There will be NO toilet facilities and the cafe/attractions will be closed. There is limited capacity in the car park and last weekend it would not have catered for all of the vehicles.
As other attractions such as Dover Castle will remain closed and foreign holidays are not an option,  We anticipate very high visitor numbers over the coming weekends and further traffic problems.

Next Steps:

  1. Suggest villagers may wish to avoid Upper Road on sunny busy days.
  2. If Upper road becomes dangerous or impassable, please can villagers inform the Police  via 101  (the more contacts the better). The police are currently following up car registration numbers if photos can be provided.
  3. Parish Council to contact the Police Community Safety Unit to reinforce the National Trust’s request for urgent immediate help. Update: patrols have been briefed prior to the weekend and officers from the special constabulary will be in the Dover area over the weekend and they have been directed to monitor the location.
  4. Parish Council to contact Highways to request urgent help

Bay Car Park

Government asked councils to open car parks from Wednesday 13 May 2020. The Bay Car Park was therefore opened and remains open. The public toilets remain shut. DDC are still working on how to get these open as  no Government guidance has yet been issued.

Next Steps.

  1. That the Public Toilets are open as soon as possible.
  2. The message is given to the general public that the White Cliffs and St Margaret’s Bay may be open but do not offer any facilities. Stay local so you have time to travel back to your own toilet when necessary
  3. That the litter bins are cleared more often.
  4. consider the idea of Car Parking charging being reintroduced, to ensure that there is a quicker turn around of vehicles.
Due to Covid 19 we suggest avoiding additional pressure being placed on the Lifeboat Service and the Coastguard at this time, by restricting . if possible the use of boats etc, at this time.