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Coronavirus: Coast roads ‘gridlocked’ by cars ‘from all over country’ as thousands enjoy hottest day of year | UK News



Britain’s hottest day of the year so far has led to many people flouting social distancing rules to hit the beach – with some coastal roads left “gridlocked”.

The mercury climbed to 27.8C (82F) near Heathrow Airport, as sunbathers across England enjoyed new found-freedom following the easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

London’s St James’s Park had recorded a high of 26.2C (79F) on Tuesday – beating 2020’s previous top of 26C (78.8F) set last month.

Balmy conditions have tested the nation’s resolve in maintaining social distancing in parks and open spaces.

People enjoy the hot weather at Bournemouth beach in Dorset, as people flock to parks and beaches with lockdown measures eased.
Social media users have criticised the large groups of people in Bournemouth

On the north Devon coast, police said roads to the area’s beaches were “gridlocked” despite pleas to the public from councils who advise against travelling to the south west of England.

Officers in Ilfracombe and Braunton said they had identified vehicles from “all over the country” in the local area, where toilets and other amenities remain closed.

“Roads towards the north Devon coast are now gridlocked,” officers tweeted.

Sunbathers social distancing as they queue for ice cream as they enjoy the hot weather at Weston-super-Mare, as people flock to parks and beaches with lockdown measures eased.
Sunbathers in Weston-super-Mare queue up for ice creams on the hottest day of the year

“We have vehicles from all over the country identified, please do not travel here.

“We will still be here when this is over so come back when it’s safe to do so.”

One officer said “valuable resources” were being used to police traffic, adding that elderly people in the area would be “very anxious over the selfish actions of these individuals”.

Police in Barnstaple said they were “running out of tickets” as they urged members of the public not to abandon their cars, while a road policing unit said that double yellow lines from Woolacombe to Morthoe were “covered with cars and vans”.

“Cars mounting pavements to get by whilst pedestrians try to cross the road,” police tweeted.

“All the offences have been recorded and will be processed in due course.”

Other coastal areas that saw an increase in visitors included Sussex and Dorset.

Sunbathers enjoy the hot weather at Mablethorpe in Lincolnshire, as people flock to parks and beaches with lockdown measures eased.
Other areas in the UK were seen to be much quieter

A slight easing of restrictions in England means people can drive to beaches and countryside beauty spots, where they are allowed to picnic, sunbathe and relax.

Weather conditions are expected to become more unsettled on Thursday, with the risk of thunderstorms in the east and south-east of England as a band of rain pushes eastwards.

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