Pre-paid parking at popular West Sussex beach to be made permanent
A popular West Sussex beach announced its pre-paid parking system is to be made permanent to ‘control visitor numbers, promote safety and protect the environment and local community’.
The West Wittering Estate will maintain its daily cap on numbers as staycations and day trips within the UK are set to be on the increase this summer.
The system – which was brought in when the beach reopened following the first national lockdown last year – aimed to reduce lengthy traffic queues in the area.
The Estate said it acknowledges there were issues with parking in the village last year and is working closely with local authorities and organisations to improve the situation.
A spokesperson for West Wittering Estate said “Visitor numbers have been increasing over the last decade and we believe keeping the pre-paid parking system in place is the right thing to do to promote safety and protect the environment, wildlife and our local community. A strict daily limit on numbers parking with us will also be enforced.
“As the nation eases out of lockdown, many will be thinking of a staycation or day trip within the UK. Anyone planning a trip to West Wittering Beach this spring and summer will need to pre-book their parking to avoid the chance of being disappointed should they arrive to find the carpark is fully booked.”
Over the past five years, West Wittering Estate has invested in staff, training and equipment, and said as a result, safety incident numbers have fallen.
The number of incidents recorded by the Lifeguard Team over the 2020 Blue Flag season (May to September) showed that, compared to 2018, the number of visitors needing first aid were down 33 per cent, visitors needing assistance (such as Lifeguard taking action in the water) were down 50 per cent, and reports of missing people were down 50 per cent.
A spokesperson for West Wittering Estate added: “By capping visitor numbers, we will be able to build on the positive trend for visitor safety we have achieved to date. Being able to control the numbers coming to the beach each day will also allow us to strike the right balance between protection of the natural environment and allowing people to enjoy a traditional family day at the beach.”
How to book parking
Visitors who wish to book online parking must visit the JustPark app or website and select West Wittering Beach from the choice of locations. You can then select the day you wish to travel to the site.
Customers then receive a confirmation text or email, which must be shown to staff at the entrance gates to grant entry.