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Reminder that Covid-19 has not gone away following busy bank holiday weekend

Last modified: 26 May 2020 at 06:53pm

The agencies that make up North Yorkshire’s Local Resilience Forum are urging day trippers to do the right thing when they visit North Yorkshire’s beauty spots and park responsibly, take their litter home and respect local communities.

They also want to remind people that coronavirus has not gone away and it can still be passed on to family and friends despite the relaxation of some restrictions.

The reminder comes after the bank holiday weekend saw North Yorkshire Police issue 52 fines for breaches of the coronavirus regulations in addition to issuing over 30 traffic offence reports following the emergency closure of a moorland road.

On Monday 25 May, police officers, council and highway officers were called to the Sheep-wash and Cod Beck area at Osmotherley where the road had to be closed when it became impassable due to the number of parked vehicles. Officers found 50 cars double-parked along the road, blocking the path of emergency service vehicles.

The majority of the vehicles had travelled from the Cleveland area and over 30 motorists were issued with traffic offence reports for blocking the highway.

Elsewhere in the county, a total of 52 fines under the coronavirus legislation were issued. 39 were issued in the Scarborough area, four in Harrogate, four in Selby, two in York, two in Craven and one in Hambleton.

35 of those were issued for breach of gathering restrictions, 13 for breach of movement restrictions and four for contravening a direction. 29 were issued to visitors to North Yorkshire and 23 to people from North Yorkshire.

Breaches of the regulations include overnight stays in motorhomes, door-to-door selling, and groups of people from different households drinking in public areas.

In one incident on 23 May, the police, fire and rescue service, ambulance service and the coastguard, were all called to the scene of an incident in Scarborough when a man became stuck on a cliff near the castle. The man had been drinking with a group of friends and climbed up the cliff before becoming stuck. He was rescued by North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service using a harness and was uninjured.

In another incident in Scarborough, a 17-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and assaulting a police officer after a youth was seen jumping on top of a police vehicle and then became abusive on arrest. He has been released while enquiries continue.

Superintendent Charlotte Bloxham, silver commander for the police response to Covid-19, said: “As the weather gets better and we now have more freedom to leave our homes and visit our favourite beauty spots, we urge people to remember that we are not yet out of the woods in terms of the spread of the virus. People can still catch it, including your children, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters. We will continue to engage and explain the current regulations, and encourage you to follow them, but as this weekend has shown, we are not afraid to use the legislation if we have to.

“We ask that visitors respect local communities, have an alternative plan and move on if their favourite place is busy, especially if car parks are full.

“And importantly, please don’t take any unnecessary risks and put yourself, or anyone else in danger.”

Chair of North Yorkshire Local resilience Forum, Richard Flinton, added: “Please think ahead to reduce the spread of Covid-19. If somewhere is busy and crowded – even if it’s outside you would be much better off finding somewhere else with less people and a space to park. If a car park is full then just go somewhere else. It’s really that simple. There’s plenty of space in North Yorkshire – use it thoughtfully and respect local communities by planning ahead and taking your rubbish home.”


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