The small Northumberland village has once again been voted the UK’s best seaside town, according to a poll by Which?. However, locals say the town has become a victim of its own success and cannot cope with the influx of tourists due to increased littering and lack of parking.
A Bamburgh resident and business owner, who did not wish to be named, said if the trend continued the town’s tourism industry would suffer.
The business owner said: ‘When it was named the best resort in the UK you could almost hear a collective groan from residents and businesses.
“Of course we need tourists and we want them here, but the village is so crowded on sunny days that no one seems to be having fun. It is not uncommon to spend an hour in your car as traffic passes through the village.
“What I fear is a few more ridiculous busy summers and people will completely miss Bamburgh in a few years.”
Local John Graham, 60, complained about the amount of litter left behind by tourists on their way to the beach or in the evenings.
He said: “When the sun is up, the place can be overrun. During the day, it’s the ice cream brigade that leaves its rubbish everywhere and, in the evening, the drunken thugs have fun.
“On an average morning in the summer, I pick up five or six burnt disposable barbecues and half a dozen trash bags full of bottles and cans.”
Around 150,000 tourists visit the village – which has a small population of 414 – every year for its iconic castle and spectacular beaches.
Last year was particularly busy as Covid restrictions forced millions to avoid international travel and stay in the UK.
To cope with the influx of tourists, temporary emergency town planning laws were introduced to free up land for additional parking.
This year, however, the rules have been tightened and the city expects a similar number of visitors with fewer places to park.
Bamburgh Parish Council chair Barbara Brook said: ‘We had a dispensation last year to open the Glebe Field next to the church for 56 days and now it is going to be impossible as the directive is 28 days.
“We have asked for more yellow lines – and I can understand that more yellow lines are not wanted in Northumberland – but we are now faced with a dilemma because over the Easter period we had huge parking problems in the village.”
Despite traffic congestion and limited parking, Northumberland County Council has so far refused to increase the number of parking spaces in the village.
Local services manager Paul Jones said: ‘We are not offering any additional parking capacity in Bamburgh.
“We are happy to have a more in-depth dialogue to see what we can do to support you and the local landowner in terms of the use of seasonal overflow provisions and what can and cannot be done to stay on the right side of the law. ”
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This notice was published: 2022-05-04 17:53:00