Council and partners plan for a busy Bank Holiday weekend

Published Thursday, 25th May 2017

Sunglasses on bench

Preparations are being put in place to help visitors enjoy a safe visit to Southend’s popular seafront over what is expected to be a busy Bank Holiday weekend.

With fair weather forecast, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, its parking contractors Apcoa, emergency services, the Southend Business Improvement District (BID) are putting plans in place to ensure visitors enjoy the seaside safely.

Southend-on-Sea is one of the country’s most popular seaside destinations welcoming approximately 6.5 million visitors each year. For the latest visitor information see the Visit Southend website.

Scott Dolling, Director for Culture, Tourism and Property at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, said: “Our preparations are all about providing a safe and pleasant visitor experience that leaves people wanting to return to our town.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for visitors to reach the seafront, respond swiftly if children become lost from their parents, keep our town and award-winning beaches as clean as possible and prevent people coming to harm when visiting the beach.

“We can only achieve this by working closely together, planning ahead and ensuring we have resources available when they are most needed.”

Alison Dewey, Southend BID Manager, said: “We’re expecting a busy weekend in Southend-on-Sea and members of the Business Improvement District will be offering their full support to make sure everyone enjoys their stay for the right reasons and wants to come back.

“Nowhere can compete with Southend on a sunny day and our friendly Street Rangers offer a wealth of help and information to visitors. Please say hello if you see us about!”

Beach safety

The Council offers the following advice to help ensure a visit to the beach is remembered for all the right reasons.

  • Supervise children and vulnerable adults at all times. There is safety in numbers.
  • Wear jelly shoes or other sensible footwear on the beach and in the sea. Like with all seafronts, hidden dangers such as sharp shells and rocks may be hidden under the sand or water.
  • Don’t climb the rocks: Several areas of our seafront, including our new seafront lagoon, have rocks. Please do not climb them. Not only could you become injured, but you also risk falling injured into the sea, impeding your chances of swimming to safety.
  • Slip, slap, slop, seek, slide: Sunburn is a leading cause of skin cancer. Sunstroke and dehydration are also extremely dangerous. Slip on a T-shirt, slop on some sun cream slap on a hat. Seek out some shade and slide on some sun glasses to protect your eyes too!
  • Observe signs and flags: Heed warning signs and flags: they could save your life!

To download a beach safety guide produced by the RNLI, please visit the RNLI website.

Parking

The Council will be encouraging parking in its town centre car parks, to support the seafront car parks, which can fill up quickly. Most town centre car parks are a mere five-to-ten minute walk from the seafront.

Vehicles queuing to access already full seafront car parks can contribute to congestion in the town. As town centre car parking is cheaper than peak season parking by the beaches, visitors could spend less time and money getting to the beach by parking up in town and walking.

Overflow car parking at Southend Civic Centre and the Beecroft Gallery will also be signed from Victoria Avenue. Meanwhile, employees of APCOA – the Council’s enforcement contractor – will be providing extra resource at car parks to assist motorists more easily find available spaces.

Once the Seaway Car Park fills, council partners will approach motorists to advise them of the nearest car parks they can drive to that still have free spaces.

Traffic

Visitors are being urged to ‘let the train take the strain’ and travel sustainably to town. Visitors are asked to check both the C2C line and the Abellio Greater Anglia line from Liverpool Street to Southend Victoria for offers

Electronic traffic signage will be actively updated throughout the weekend to help inform visitors of accurate traffic and parking information. The Blue Flag award-winning beaches at Shoebury Common and Thorpe Bay will also be promoted, to encourage visits to these less visited areas.

Litter

Cleaning staff will be on site during various shifts from 7am to 10pm. In the area between Adventure Island and Sealife Adventure, extra staff deployed. Support vehicles will remove waste once collected from the street and litterbins in a continuous cycle.  Extra bins are placed out on the beaches.

The beach-raker will attend early morning Saturday, Sunday and Monday in City Beach and Jubilee Beach areas to prepare the beaches before visitors arrive.

Suitable resources are in place for the whole of the seafront from Leigh to Shoebury along with supervision.

Southend BID Street Rangers

This Saturday 27th May, three Street Rangers will be operating across Southend's town centre and seafront. They will be on hand to assist with visitor inquiries and first aid incidents, as well as assisting the Police and businesses in cutting crime and antisocial behaviour.

In addition, they will also be on patrol on Bank Holiday Monday (29th May).

Please also remember the Southend BID Childsafe scheme.  Childsafe wristbands are available to pick up from the majority of outlets across the seafront, including all arcades and Adventure Island and in the High Street at Southend Central and Southend Victoria railway stations, both shopping centres and businesses including Toys n Tuck and McDonald's.

For a full list of Childsafe wristband outlets please check the Visit Southend website.