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Fines issued in East Lothian after introduction of overnight parking ban

East Lothian

Parking wardens have issued 14 fines to vehicles parked overnight on East Lothian beach car parks in the first month since a ban was introduced, Edinburgh live reports.

East Lothian Council brought in the experimental ban on overnight parking at 20 of its car parks, including those on the coast, at the start of April in a bid to crackdown on antisocial behaviour.

Six of the 14 penalty notices were issued at Yellowcraig car park, near North Berwick, with two issued at White Sands, Longniddry Bents No3 and Gullane Bents car parks and single fines issued at John Muir Country Park and Shore Road, at Belhaven.

The local authority has seen a surge in tourists coming to its beaches and countryside since the Covid-19 pandemic but it has led to issues with fires, litter and human waste.

It is estimated that about three million people now visit the county’s coast every year, making it the most visited coastline in Scotland.

A report to cabinet members earlier this year said: “Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, coastal car parks in East Lothian have seen a considerable increase in the numbers of vehicles parking overnight associated with visitors camping in and near beach areas and in the car parks.

“This camping activity has caused damage to the biodiversity of this protected area by the lighting of fires and barbecues, as well as generating litter, including human waste.”

It added: “There has also been an increase in the numbers of campervans and motorhomes parking overnight at coastal car parks rather than at formal camping locations.

“The council-operated car parks do not have the facilities to support campervans or motorhomes, and damage has been caused by the unlawful emptying of chemical toilets.”

Cabinet members agreed to introduce the overnight ban as an ‘experimental measure’ as well as introducing new motorhome/campervan spaces at two of its coastal car parks which can be pre-booked on the council website as it explores alternative options for visitors.

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