CARS have been banned from driving onto a popular Cardigan Bay beach following safety concerns.
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority is putting an end to beach parking at Newport Sands, in response to growing safety concerns and following decades of damage to the natural environment.
The park authority recently purchased the land that has traditionally been used by people to park their vehicles on the beach from Newport Links Golf Resort, after meetings were held to seek a solution to beach parking incidents and anti-social behaviour.
To provide safe access for all, the authority will be limiting vehicular access to the beach to emergency services and those requiring essential access.
National Park Authority Chief Executive, Tegryn Jones said: “Although big changes like this can be challenging, this move will help protect people and the environment, creating a safer beach experience for all.
“The authority has acted after safety concerns were raised by the previous owners and members of the public, so we are hopeful people will understand and support the drive to make Newport Sands car-free.
“This move will also help continue the conversation over our collective climate impact and encourage people to consider whether a car is always the best way to get to the beach.”
Chris Noott of Newport Links Golf Resort added: “The Golf Club called a meeting with Dyfed-Powys Police, the Park Authority and our local county councillors in 2022, following at least two incidents where irresponsible drivers ignored our operatives and just drove onto the beach without stopping. On at least one of these occasions this reckless attitude nearly caused an accident involving a young child.
“The Golf Club is extremely grateful to the Park Authority for offering to take control of the beach management and for its assistance in this matter.”
To support the changes to parking in the area, the number of disabled parking spaces in the nearby car park will be doubled from three to six. A beach wheelchair provided by the National Park Authority will be available to hire from Newport Sands Surf Club from mid-June.
The Poppit Rocket coastal bus, which stops at Newport Sands, will begin operating on its summer timetable from 30 May until 30 September. This service is provided by Pembrokeshire County Council with contributions from the National Park Authority.