A cry for help from Camber to the prime minister and the local MP has apparently fallen on deaf ears as “stupid new rules” could see Camber invaded by the crowds who often turn up on the hottest days of the year bringing a wide area to a halt – and now potentially bringing a deadly virus with them.
Camber has already experienced problems during the lockdown as, with the council car parks closed, visitors (some of whom have been fined by police) have parked anywhere they can.
But with new, more permissive rules, it seems likely that visiting the beach is permitted provided you are with “your own household” and meet up with only one other person from a different household – and follow social distancing guidelines.
This is because you can (according to the new government guidelines) spend “time outdoors – for example sitting and enjoying the fresh air, picnicking or sunbathing” and you can “exercise outdoors as often as you wish – following social distancing guidelines”.
The letter to the PM, circulating around Camber on social media, says “I am writing to you to express my concern for myself and people within my village of Camber Sands. Our village is a small coastal town with a beautiful beach as its main attraction..[and].. “day trippers” have come to our village breaking the lockdown rules since they were announced.
The lockdown is eased
“As law abiding locals we have all kept to the government guidelines because we want to keep ourselves and the vulnerable in our small community safe. [However] on the 10th of May you announced that the lockdown may be eased and people are now free to travel longer distances to “exercise”.
“This has brought great concern to us all, as this weekend that has just passed (May 9) we had seen a huge influx of people who are not from Camber coming into the village and using our beach for things such as BBQs, picnics etc (activities that were not then permitted).
“Our whole community understands that the police are trying their hardest to contain the problem by giving out fines to people who had travelled here – even attempting to close residential streets to stop people using them as car parks.
“Also the car parks in Camber were closed to stop people using them, yet “day trippers” are asking locals to park in their drives or (better still) they are blocking the locals in so they can’t get out of their drives. I hope something can possibly be done to prevent this from happening again until everything is safe”.
Rye News was told on Wednesday night that the central car park may be re-opening, but this report is unconfirmed. Rother District Council officials are said to be considering all the issues.
Local responses to this letter included “the stupid new rules mean people can come quite freely” though if they want to fish “they won’t catch anything… as the fish have found out what’s going on and gone into self isolation”.
Opening a can of worms
One local resident, Carol Macdonald, said she would be “battening down the hatches” as every summer brings marauding hordes to Camber and Boris Johnson has “opened a can of worms”.
“This is a village with elderly and vulnerable people” she continued, and “it is really the case that, if the car parks and toilet blocks are opened , or not, by Rother Council, Camber village is damned if they do and damned if they don’t – as it will be flooded with people with all those health implications”.
On peak sunny days during school holidays Camber Beach has been reported as having around 25,000 people on it – and police have had to divert traffic away from Camber as buses and cars grind to a halt.
Image Credits: Tony McLaughlin , John Minter , Carol Macdonald .