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'Covid-19 still a serious threat' warns MP Rosie Duffield as crowds flock to Kent beaches

Crowds have again flocked to the Kent coast today - sparking complaints over dangerous parking and "human faeces" left behind at beauty spots.

Soaring temperatures and clear skies have left Whitstable and parts of Thanet "heaving" with people.

Margate Main Sands, pictured today. Picture: Thanet from my perspective/Facebook
Margate Main Sands, pictured today. Picture: Thanet from my perspective/Facebook

In Thanet, resident Stuart Woodward claims "human faecal matter and rubbish" have been dumped on secluded areas of the coastline by visitors.

"Human faecal matter, urine and rubbish are being strewn across the local beaches," he said.

Public loos at four popular beaches in Thanet reopened this bank holiday, in an effort to clamp down on such behaviour.

Cllr Steve Albon, cabinet member for operational services at Thanet District Council, said last week: "At the beaches where there aren’t any open toilets, using the surrounding area is totally unacceptable.

"We also want to remind beachgoers that they must take their litter off the beach to a bin, or if the bin is full home.

Cars parked along Knockholt Road in Thanet. Picture: Emma Wallace
Cars parked along Knockholt Road in Thanet. Picture: Emma Wallace

"It is deeply disappointing that after just a few days of additional freedoms people are dumping rubbish on the beach where it will end up in the sea."

Mr Woodward added that over the bank holiday weekend, he has also experienced "aggression towards locals regarding prohibited parking in privately funded roads in the Broadstairs and Kingsgate area."

"Local councils need to act before our shorelines are ruined by the antisocial behaviour of out-of-towners," he said.

Desperate drivers have been spotted parking haphazardly along residential streets such as Knockholt Road, which runs parallel to the sea by Botany Bay.

Resident Emma Wallace posted photos that appear to show people parking right on a junction nearby her home, adding: "Let's hope emergency services won't need to get down the road."

A Whitstable resident took to Twitter to express her astonishment at the number of visitors spotted in the town.

She wrote: "Whitstable is absolutely heaving. Like a normal bank holiday but with picnics, own booze and nowhere to wee.

"I am definitely going to stay home safe behind my little door."

Retweeting her post, Canterbury and Whitstable MP Rosie Duffield said members of the public should remember the threat still posed by the coronavirus - adding that the town's narrow pavements pose a challenge to social distancing.

She wrote: "Please remember, social distancing rules are still very much in place, very difficult on some of our narrow pavements and walkways in Whitstable but vitally important as Covid-19 is still a serious and real threat."

Labour MP Rosie Duffield
Labour MP Rosie Duffield

Meanwhile, others say crowds seem to be behaving sensibly and adhering to social distancing measures while by the sea.

Andy Davidson took to Twitter to write from where he was sitting on Whitstable beach this morning, enjoying a coffee.

"There are people here from London but it is not heaving and everyone seems to be being sensible and staying in twos or small family groups well away from each other," he said. "Let’s not carried away with decrying everyone."

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