A HUGE clean-up operation is under way to clear thousands of tonnes of sand from the prom ahead of the school half term holiday.

BCP Council is battling to clear 14 miles of promenade after stormy weather left parts of the seafront impassable to cyclists, wheelchair users and even walkers.

Thousands of tourists are expected to descend on the area from this weekend as foreign travel remains out of reach to most people.

The week-long school holiday is usually a popular time for sunseekers to get away.

But this year’s break has been adversely affected because most travellers are required to self-isolate for 10 days on their return from trips abroad.

Hotels and guest houses in the area are almost fully booked as BCP prepares to welcome staycation tourists.

A spokesman for BCP Council said: “The Seafront Cleansing team are working hard to clear the 14 miles of promenades as quickly as possible and are conscious of the school half term that is approaching.

“Additional resources from other services in the council are being brought in to assist with the clean-up.”

Bournemouth and Boscombe piers, as well as Boscombe Undercliff Drive car park, were closed to the public during high winds on Friday.

And the council confirmed it expects to clear away around 20,000 tonnes of sand.

The council spokesman said they hope to get as much sand back on to the beach as possible and that the Boscombe Undercliff car park will be re-opened when it is safe for vehicles to use it.

The spokesman added: “There is a significant amount of sand on the promenade in some areas.”

One cyclist tweeted the council to say: “Seriously, this is a joke how dangerous it is to ride bikes.

“I get it - we’ve had a storm recently - but equally you are paying the salaries of scores of maintenance crew. This is right by Bournemouth Pier, not like its not an obvious problem.”