MORE than 1,500 parking fines were issued by BCP Council in just one week.

The penalty charge notices were handed out during the school half term holiday as crowds flocked to the coast in glorious weather.

A total of 355 fines were dished out in one day on Sunday May 31, 231 for on-street parking offences and 124 in car parks. There were 299 recorded on Bank Holiday Monday May 25.

The figures are up almost a quarter on the same week last year and most offences took place in seafront car parks and access roads leading to the beach.

Now motorists have been warned about the danger they pose to pedestrians and other road users.

Councillor Andy Hadley, Portfolio Holder for Transport at BCP Council said: “Many people parked responsibly, but the figures of parking fines issued are a sad indictment of the overwhelming urge some people felt in recent days, where they were determined to have a day at the beach regardless of their irresponsible actions.

“Despite firmly telling people to think twice about visiting, it seems the message did not get through and some deliberately chose to disobey parking rules and cause safety issues and obstructions by leaving their cars wherever they wanted on pavements, in loading bays and on yellow lines.

“Anti-Social parking causes congestion, is a danger to other road users and increases pollution. The team have been doing what they can to keep the roads and pavements clear.”

The cost of a fixed penalty notice varies from £50 to £70, depending on the contravention. Both can be halved if paid in the first 14 days.

Parking problems were just one of the issues caused by an influx of visitors to Dorset over the half term holiday.

The partial lifting of the coronavirus lockdown means people are now able to travel as far as they like to spend time outdoors.

This led to thousands of people descending on Dorset, leaving huge amounts of litter, camping on the beach and disregarding advice on social distancing.

Many were in close contact with each other on the beach due to the lack of facilities elsewhere, such as bars, restaurants, shops and hotels.

Since the weekend the Leader of BCP Council, Cllr Vikki Slade, has called for the reintroduction of travel restrictions to reduce the amount of people heading for the area.

In a letter to local MPs and the Chief Constable of Dorset Police she said: We have seen crowds on our beaches, in large groups clearly not from the same household.We have had council officers spat at, abused and intimidated as they go about their work and I am asking you all to go back to ministers in Westminster and ask them to put a travel restriction on England, as they have done in Wales and Scotland.”