A POOLE resident has expressed his annoyance at the closure of the Ferry Way car park in Sandbanks.

The decision to temporarily close the car park was made by BCP Council to ensure the safety of pedestrians and cyclists queuing for the reopened ferry as a result of its reduced carrying capacity, and to minimise the impact on the local area.

John Duffield of Gleneagles Avenue was disappointed with the decision, however.

Mr Duffield said: “It’s a popular spot, I sometimes go fishing there.

"It is wrong of the council to close the whole car park and not let those who drive cars park there.”

Barriers have also been put in place to ensure social distancing between travellers.

Mr Duffield added: “Why do it? We don’t need all those barriers for social distancing. Politics apart, I’ve been getting more annoyed with this council.

“I’d like to see a return to normality, locally and nationally by seeing things being debated again.

"It seems like councillors had no involvement in this decision.”

Figures supplied by the operator had suggested that the ferry’s reduced capacity per trip, caused by the need for passengers to socially distance, had the potential to result in long queues on busy days, particularly as those queuing would also need to social distance.

The council said it was decided that closing the car park to allow officials to marshal those queues within that area was the safest option.

This decision has since been reviewed by the authorities.

The council’s cabinet member for transport, Councillor Andy Hadley said: “After a period of careful monitoring of the size of the queues, we have decided to reopen part of the car park and adjust the barriers accordingly.

"This decision has allowed us to reinstate 10 parking places for the benefit of visitors while maintaining a safe queuing system.

“Numerous signs have been put in place to avoid traffic issues and additional staff may be introduced if necessary. Alternative parking is also available on the Sandbanks peninsula.

“We sympathise with those who have been frustrated by the closure of the car park but hope they understand that public safety remains our top priority during these exceptional circumstances. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will close the car park again to protect the public if the need arises.”