Beaches at Ainsdale and Southport to benefit from improved access and facilities
Sefton Council has given the go ahead to improve facilities at Ainsdale and Southport Beaches after granting approval at a full council meeting.
The proposed facilities and resources will improve safety and enhance the user experience for residents and visitors alike. This includes measures to reduce vehicle queuing times with new initiatives such as wider and improved entrances.
Rangers will now patrol the beach up to 8:30pm during peak times, and the beach will then be closed to vehicles overnight to prevent unauthorised vehicle access, restrict anti-social behaviour and prevent dangerous driving and other practices. A new fee has been introduced to discourage people from driving out of the demarcated car park areas, due to the costs incurred by rescuing stranded vehicles and the damage they can cause.
Improvements to the facilities on site such as to the toilets and new welcoming signage and flags are also included in the plans. Cleansing regimes will also be overhauled, to deliver an improved service on bank holidays and other busy days.
The investment will be funded by increased parking charges, which had previously remained the same since 2017.
The new charges will include an £8 per day rate, with a reduced twilight fee of £4 after 4pm.
The increase will place the parking charges in line with other coast land owners in the area such as the National Trust, RSPB and Pleasureland.
A season ticket will be available for regular visitors, at a cost of £60, which means people will save money after seven visits over the six-month season.
Council has also agreed to a new £30 season ticket for all Sefton residents to encourage locals to enjoy the beach and save money after just three visits. This specially reduced ticket will also be available to anyone driving an electric or hybrid car, as part of measures to encourage the use of more environmentally friendly transport.
Residents and visitors alike will be encouraged to travel by other means too, and improvements have already been made to access the beach from Ainsdale station and village for wheelchairs and prams.
It is exciting times for Ainsdale, with a consultation on the future vision of the ‘Ainsdale on Sea Gateway’ to be launched in March. This will run across the summer and will seek to gather views on how we can make the most of our wonderful coastline – to the benefit of people, nature and the local economy.
Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “During peak periods our beaches attract a lot of visitors, so measures to alleviate queueing traffic will be of significant benefit to both residents and beach users alike.
The increase in resources and improvement of facilities will enhance the visitor experience for everyone and also provide a safer environment to enjoy theses fantastic assets, whilst helping protect our special wildlife and landscape, within our borough.
I am particularly pleased the Council will be able to offer a favourable car parking rate for Sefton residents, and electric and hybrid car drivers, encouraging people to enjoy these special sites, and for people to think about their carbon footprint.”