Enough is enough says Dorset's Council leader who is pleading with Prime Minister Boris Johnson to think again on easing travel restrictions and urge people to stay near their home.

It follows a chaotic weekend in Dorset which saw a critical incident declared at Durdle Door on Saturday after a number of people were injured jumping off the stone arch into the sea in front of huge crowds on the beach, placing a 'huge strain' on emergency services.

Roads were closed but people still made their way to the beach on Sunday.

At other beauty spots, Dorset Council said there were "excessive" numbers of visitors and it reported littering, people urinating and defecating in public, overnight campers and people having dangerous campfires and BBQs – despite extensive warnings against this from all local agencies. Council employees were abused by drivers as they tried to manage traffic.

This has all prompted a strongly-worded letter to the PM from Leader of Dorset Council Cllr Spencer Flower.

Read the letter here 


He says the guidelines are having a "disproportionately negative effect" on places like Dorset which do not have the infrastructure to cope with a major influx of visitors.

Cllr Flower said: "Since the government announced on May 10 that lockdown was to be gradually eased and that people can 'travel to outdoor open space irrespective of distance', both we and Dorset Police have had very limited powers of enforcement. For example, the police are no longer been able to challenge road users as to whether their journeys are essential.

"All public services are very stretched due to weeks of responding to the Covid-19 outbreak and other major incidents such as the wildfire at Wareham Forest.

"I have written to the Prime Minister and to all Dorset MPs on this issue. My plea to the government is to review the unrestricted travel guidelines currently in place and require people instead to 'stay local'.

"The current guidelines have a disproportionately negative effect on areas like ours which are popular with visitors but do not have the infrastructure to cope right now.

"I am worried that we will see a second wave of infection here in Dorset as a result of the high number of visitors to the area over recent days. I’m asking the government to act now to save the lives of Dorset residents. Please help us to help them by issuing revised guidance telling people to stay local for the time being."

South Dorset MP Richard Drax said: "I fully understand the concerns. On Monday, I sought assurance from all those involved that we’d work together to come up with a solution. Several discussions have taken place this week and we all meet on Friday at the council’s regular weekly meeting to come up with a plan. I believe the solution is a local one.

"As a renowned and beautiful destination, our county both benefits and suffers from the popularity this brings, but we do have a wealth of experience on which to draw and I have every confidence that will be brought to bear in the coming days."