Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council has unveiled an app for visitors to check on which of its beaches are the least congested.
Named BCP Beach Check, it was developed by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Tourism, and has a traffic light system to warn visitors away from crowded sections of the beaches.
The move comes after Bournemouth attracted media attention as one of the places that was overrun with day trippers as the coronavirus lockdown was eased last month.
BCP said the data for the app comes from a mix of sources, and that it will draw on previous data, along with weather forecasts, to predict how busy each stretch of beach is likely to be. Its team of seafront rangers will update each section regularly to reflect any changes.
This will be supplemented by CCTV and some footfall counters, and there is a feedback function.
The app also provides information on lifeguard status, whether toilets are open and the byelaws for cycling and walking dogs along the promenade.
Need for safety
Leader of BCP Council Vikki Slade said: “We want to make sure everyone who comes to our shores remains as safe as they can be,” she said. “It is not hard to see why so many people flock to our beaches every year and we have witnessed first-hand just how popular our destinations can be.
“However, we want to ensure those that come here take their own safety and wellbeing seriously and that is the purpose of the development of this app. If you arrive you can simply click a few buttons and check to see which beaches have the capacity to accommodate more visitors.
“With 15 miles of coastline, there is more than enough space for people to be able to spread themselves around and maintain social distancing which is pivotal to ensuring the minimal spread of this pandemic.”
The app is available through Google Play and the Apple App Store.
Image by Phil Guest, CC BY-SA 2.0