Park access to be restricted after large number of visitors despite lockdown

By Daniel Harkins, PA Scotland
·2-min read

A Scottish council is to work with police to further restrict access to one of its parks after a large number of drivers visited on Sunday.

Pictures on social media show queues of cars arriving at the eastern edge of Strathclyde Park near Motherwell despite the lockdown restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

North Lanarkshire Council had previously announced that the park would be closed from March 24 to vehicle access and that car parking would be closed, though access for pedestrians and cyclists would be maintained.

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The park lies in 400 hectares of countryside in the valley of the River Clyde and attracts thousands of visitors each year.

The council has said it will work with police to prevent large numbers of drivers descending on the area again.

A post on the local authority’s Twitter page said: “We had already closed car parks, but we’ll be ensuring vehicles can’t access the park like this again, working with @policescotland.

“Please be responsible. Driving to the park to exercise is against govt guidance and not responsible. #StayHome.”

North Lanarkshire councillors also condemned the activity.

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Paul Kelly, depute leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: “Thank you to everyone who contacted me regarding use of Strathclyde Park over the weekend by cars.

“This is a worrying situation as we all know the clear advice from the Government to stay home and exercise safely and sensibly. I have urgently raised this situation with the council.”

Fellow councillor Greg Lennon said he urged “all residents to stay in”, adding if this was not practical then “please at the very least ensure social distancing is practised for the sake of your/everyone’s safety”.