Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council has said its Beach Check app is to be rolled out nationally with the support of funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
It has received £40,000 through the Local Digital Fund – in addition to an early £34,000 – to further develop and expand the use of the app in a partnership with smart systems specialist Xpernest.
BCP Beach Check was developed quickly in July of last year in response to the overcrowding of beaches when the first pandemic lockdown was lifted. Bournemouth attracted media attention as one of the places that was overrun with day trippers.
The app enables users to check on which of its beaches are the least congested, with a traffic light system to warn visitors away from crowded sections and information on lifeguard status, whether toilets are open and the byelaws for cycling and walking dogs along the promenade.
The council is planning to launch it again locally this spring as a first step towards making it more widely available.
Helping with choices
Councillor Mohan Iyengar, BCP Council’s portfolio holder for tourism, leisure and culture, said: “We are preparing for a good many visitors this summer as lockdown is eased and people can travel. The app will be valuable, helping people to make good choices about where to be – avoiding the busiest spots, staying distanced and being safe.
“The future looks particularly good once we can use the app to potentially signpost people to different events and attractions in our Festival Coast Live! based on inputs they have made. All in all, it’s an aid to staying safe, building confidence and really boosting our tourism business for everyone involved.”
Image from BCP Council