BBC features Camber’s concerns


At last, after several months of great weather the BBC South East News team came to Camber last Friday, August 7, as I had sent an email to the news team to argue the case that while our local TV often mentions towns and cities with popular beaches (like Brighton or Margate) that have a problem with a total overload of tourists, a small village that happens to have an iconic and wonderful beach (and gets the same overload) is never mentioned.

And at 9am last Friday, it was almost too late for the interviewer and cameraman to even get into the car park and, such is the popularity of Camber Sands, that by 9:30am or 9:45am Camber’s central and its overflow car park were full.

I began the interview with a mention of the Camber Action Group, started because (and I quote) “it looked as though the situation was likely to continue in perpetuity unless someone did something about it”.

That, I am sad to say, has been Camber’s position for decades and that is why Camber Action Group was started with myself, John Parsons and Jimmy Hyatt. Camber Parish Council already do a very good job of looking after our village with John Bradford as chair and the other councillors but we, as a group, simply want to ensure the actual implementation of plans to stop the total invasion of vehicles and end the parking madness that happens.

Those plans would include the addition of double yellow lines to more streets and roads and the most important thing of all – traffic wardens – to issue a high penalty fee and very possibly sanction the removal of vehicles deemed to be parking exceptionally badly, for example in front of emergency access points.

John Parsons and I talked for about 10 minutes on the turmoil that happens and about how the elderly and vulnerable were affected by this tsunami of people into our village with just under 600 residents.

This was, unfortunately, cut down to a much shorter airing time on the evening of August 7 at 6:30 pm (because of the lack of social distancing, concerns about drownings and an impending “beach party”, which actually moved to nearby Greatstone) but I think we both got our case across that Camber suffers as much as, if not more than, Brighton or Eastbourne.

Image Credits: Carol Macdonald .

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  1. I lived in Hastings and it was the same people moaning, You don’t hear the shops restaurant and cafes near the beach complain. Because you live in Camber sorry to say you don’t own the beach or sand.

  2. Didn’t say nowt about beach. It’s the devastating poor parking which seriously affects the 600 residents. Mainly elderly and vulnerable.

  3. Is there a case for creating a park and ride scheme, with parking outside Camber, say Lydd, or outskirts of Rye, and bussing people to the beach?

  4. I have lived in Camber for more than 10 years and came here to work.

    In previous years the worst days for overwhelming visitor numbers were confined to perhaps 2 or 3 days per year, normally bank holidays.

    This year, since the lockdown was lifted, the number of days that the village suffers from an overwhelming number of visitors has increased dramatically and the behavior of those visitors has equally dramatically deteriorated.

    Obviously this is an unusual year in several ways not least that the weather has been so good but also because children have had an extended holiday and adults have been furloughed.

    I accept that it must be absolutely fantastic to get the children to the beach after being couped up in a city dwelling with limited access to outside space but the attitude of these people to the wonderful beach and surrounds is frankly deplorable. I have never seen so much rubbish, broken glass and human waste including used nappies, wipes, faeces and bottles of urine, all just left on the beach, in the dunes, the car parks and on the verges and footpaths. This complete lack of care for the environment or the village residents is what galls me most.

    I do think though that the powers that be could do more to help everyone and that includes better information for visitors, more wardens on patrol, better facilities including toilets that are open when needed and well maintained. Car parks that open earlier and close later and more police presence to deal with not only the lost children but the parking menace.

    The vehicles that are most dangerously or inconsiderately parked, should, in my view be towed away, but we must also be mindful of the fact that we will force visiting drivers to park deeper and deeper into our local housing estates which in turn increases the chance of us being blocked into our own homes.

  5. Well said and that is why we have started Camber Action Group.To ensure that all the authorities involved actually do something about this awful problem that has developed in our village.


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