The answer to Camber chaos?


Beach Check UK is a brand-new app, designed to allow users to check the status of a beach before they arrive, thereby avoiding overcrowded beaches, and, perhaps, saving Rye from the traditional summer queues that gridlock the roads to Camber.

The app uses a simple traffic light system allowing users to check the status of individual beaches. A map showing red means a beach is crowded, amber means less congested, and green, naturally, means grab your towels and get there before the light turns red.

Updated by on-the-ground authorised users, the app also includes information such as parking, if there is a lifeguard facility, or whether dogs are allowed.

The free app, available through both Google Play and Apple App Store, was designed by Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole Council. Piloted in summer 2020, it now has funding from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to roll out nationally. To date, it has been downloaded over 40,000 times.

The National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA) is supporting the roll-out of the app and encouraging resorts nationwide to adopt it. The app is currently available for Camber Sands, Bexhill, West Wittering, and Thanet in the southeast.

Samantha Richardson, NCTA director, said; “We have traditionally witnessed overcrowding on numerous hot-spot beaches around the country. This app allows users to plan ahead and travel to quieter areas.”

Beach Check UK has plans to sign up more coastal locations, and users are encouraged to contact their local authorities if they feel their area would benefit.

For more information:

Image Credits: Beach Check UK .

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  1. Do you think people will take any notice of that? They’ve been told that’s there’s plenty of petrol to go round but it doesn’t stop them queuing and it’ll be the same at Camber, signs in Rye telling them that Camber is full doesn’t stop them so why should an app.
    It’s preaching to the converted, sensible people stay away without being told because they know what it’s going to be like but the queues will still be there whatever you do.
    It’s what we do best, Queuing.

    • I agree wholeheartedly! Unfortunately, we are now living amongst an entire new breed of people and although these are not the majority, self-centredness is on the increase. I also despair of those people who have to be told to wash their hands….whatever happened to good old fashioned common sense?

      • Dear Jane,
        Regarding the ‘entire new breed of people’ you mention. I am 63 and have been aware of such people since I was a child. My caveat would be that after my teens, I have mainly inhabited cities.

        • Dear Pat,
          I’m 67 and have mainly lived in small towns, eg Guestling and Hastings Old Town, throughout my life; I love the village community life, especially as I live alone (by choice!). As much as I hate to admit it, I find that that it’s the younger generation who are lacking in good manners, common sense and other qualities that I was taught throughout my childhood. Perhaps I’m fast becoming an Old Git?!

  2. What about park and ride at or near to the former Freda Gardham school with electric mini bus shuttle to the beach? E-bikes, trailer bikes, cargo bikes for hire for those wanting to cycle with all their beach clobber.

  3. Park and ride was offered years ago to Rye Town Council, and turned down, time Rother police closed the road when the carparks are full in Camber, and only let residents in, proper policing is the only way to stop this chaos,because it will never end,with the popularity of Camber.

  4. I’d like to respond to both Nick Hanna and John Tolhurst. Firstly to Nick – electric minibuses are still very much in development. There are various difficulties, one is that the weight of the batteries limits the range of the vehicle (the first electric 16-seater minibus in this country, developed by Mellor, has a range of only 100 miles while one being tested by Cuckmere Valley CT has a claimed range of 200 miles but the reality of that remains to be seen). The other is the huge cost of such vehicles – around £200,000! A lot of this is in the batteries so that at the end of their life (currently unknown, 5-6 years?) the vehicle is pretty well valueless but replacement batteries will cost a 6 figure sum. RDCT’s most recent purchase in 2019 was of a 4-year old (diesel) 16-seater at a cost of £34,000. And while charging (apart from the cost of the installation – may require upgrading of the local supply) is cheap other running costs are not: the increased weight leads to significantly increased tyre wear among other things.

    To John, every one advocating park and ride seems to neglect the cost of its provision. I was asked to provide a costing for a daytime park and ride scheme in/around Rye and it worked out, even in a limited form, at over £10,000 a year. Who is going to pay for that? The most successful park and ride scheme I know of is in Canterbury where there are 3 car parks from which it can be used at a fairly low charge for the bus into the city centre. These all have other features that are useful – the most popular is at Wincheap which is a busy retail park. However, the coach park at Canterbury charges £15 per vehicle (and minibuses/camper vans have to use it as well as full size coaches as they are not permitted in the other car parks) whether there for an hour or 12. Given the huge popularity of Canterbury as a tourist destination I estimated while there one morning (pre Covid) with a school group that the revenue from it probably averaged £500 a day almost every day of the year – supporting the park and ride? At Brighton’s park and ride the dedicated buses were withdrawn some years ago because of the cost of provision, with users directed to regular service buses; even though their bus service is heavily subsidised (at one time by almost as much as ESCC had to subsidise buses in the whole of the county), the cost for a family using it is still considerable.


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