Bank Holiday sunshine attracts crowds to Thanet beaches – complaints of beach fight and ‘faecal matter’ in public follow

The loo queue in Margate

The hot Bank Holiday weather has attracted crowds to Thanet with Margate Main Sands packed and police being called to parking mayhem in Broadstairs.

Residents in Percy Avenue say they had to patrol the road as visitors blocked driveways and vehicles as they tried to find parking spaces so they could visit Botany Bay. Residents in Kingsgate Avenue have made similar complaints today with one saying the last rush of visitors left beach areas “covered in faecal matter and stinking of urine.”

Another said: “Botany Road is the most packed, I’ve ever seen it in my nine years of living down this road! You would not get the fire brigade down the road nor an ambulance. There are lots of angry residents within the area.”

A Kent Police spokesperson said: “Kent Police was called to Kingsgate at 12.20pm following a report that the road was blocked by parked cars.

“Officers attended the scene and carried out traffic management to keep vehicles in the area moving.

“Officers also engaged with the public, explaining to people their personal responsibilities and encouraging them to adhere to the government’s instructions.”

Complaints were also made of people using the caves at Botany as toilets with volunteers having to clean up waste.

Officers were also called to attend an incident at Viking Bay when a fight broke out between two groups of people.

The brawl took place in front of bewildered families. It is understood police moved the brawling groups on.

In Margate the queue for the public toilets stretched along the front with more than 30 people waiting to use the facilities.

Cars are parked by the 19th Hole pub and the road going to Palm Bay is gridlocked with people turning around.

One resident said her husband, a key worker, was jammed in the queue for some 25 minutes as he tried to make deliveries.

Thanet council has put extra measures in place due to the anticipated influx of visitors to isle beaches.

There are extra public bins and dedicated cleansing crews who are focusing on the promenade areas. The authority is asking people to bin their litter or take it home with them following mess left behind on beaches after the hot weather on Wednesday.

Thanet council has opened public toilets at four beaches -Ramsgate, Margate, Joss Bay and Viking Bay  following the relaxation of ‘lockdown’ rules earlier this month.

However, a social media post from the authority had asked people to be responsible about parking, litter and social distancing.

They said:  “We’ve been lucky to have had good weather, but this and the Government’s restrictions changing has (inevitably) meant more people have visited Thanet, particularly our beaches.

Photo by Carl Hudson

“We have been deeply disappointed to have seen that just a few days of additional freedoms some people have not been responsible – there’s been extra litter on our beaches (when the volume of litter was close to zero during lockdown), cars have been parked in a completely irresponsible manner, and toilets being closed has meant some people doing the worst!

“As always, these are the actions of a small minority of people. We appreciate that the vast majority of our residents and visitors do respect the rules and behave in a way that helps to protect our beautiful coastline.

“We are still in the middle of a pandemic, so please remember that we are not operating as normal.”

The relaxation of curbs on public life means people are now allowed to be outdoors as long as they like and there are no travel restrictions.

This has raised fears of creating a second peak of coronaviurus but it has also been highlighted that many of those visiting parks and beaches have been stuck in rooms or flats without any outdoor space since the ‘lockdown’ was enacted on March 23.

Craig Mackinlay

In his MP column today (May 25) Craig Mackinlay said: “The unseasonably good weather and the government advice to allow further travel and visits to public spaces, whilst observing social distancing, was always going to cause conflict and concern.

“On the one hand it is eminently possible to remain well spaced from each other in family groups but, as ever, there are fools out there who will disregard common sense. But by and large over the past weeks we’ve mostly become alert to spacing; the lure of our blue flag beaches meant that we attracted huge numbers of visitors from out of area.

By Swift Aerial Photography

“This was bound to happen and I’m sorry to say there was a touch of ‘King Canute’ in the local response keeping toilets closed. Whilst many local residents were annoyed at the influx with the usual parking problems which I have long tried to solve, particularly in the Botany Bay area, the greatest anger was the rubbish and use of the beaches and surroundings as open lavatories.

“I am pleased to see that there is now a limited opening of these facilities. In defence of Thanet District Council they have struggled to recruit additional staff to properly service the public toilets.

“This is not at all surprising – would temporary staff really wish to be stuck in a small space, be the marshalls of distancing: one in one out, clean and disinfect on a minute-by-minute basis whilst wearing extensive PPE? It is not a dream occupation no matter what the rate of pay.

“We have few big industries in Thanet, but we have lots of smaller ones which come together and that is our tourist offer bringing £320m per year into the area. We need this spending as it trickles down to support much else from retail spending to rent payments. We need to manage this, welcome it where we can and give our local businesses a chance of getting back to normal.”


  1. Loo queue no 2m apart
    Come on TDC sort it. Out!
    Attendent on the toilet queue
    Beach enforcement
    You been given money
    Spend it on safety first
    Not your lunch at Christmas.. Loads of receipts on 27/12/19…then coastal folk went to dinner at our expense

    Safety please tdc

  2. I hope that Thanet council issues parking tickets to all the illegally parked cars. Traffic wardens should be out in force today patrolling places like Kingsgate, Palm Bay,and areas surrounding Botany beach.The cost of parking fines might go towards the cost of cleaning up the mess left behind.

  3. Police TDC Local government all USLESS

    • A Edwards, so the government advice is people can travel and go to the beach, under what laws etc are you expecting the council and police to stop people ???

    • On Margate beach was full of people, some were fucking coughing without giving a damn about others, some were doing barbecue on the beach. The toilets were completely disgusting, faecal dirt everywhere. My wife spent 1 hour queuing to use the toilet. Never ever will go back to that stinky town.

  4. Palm bay and Kingsgate should be resident permit parking only. Its close to gridlock in some roads. Last Wednesday the rubbish couldn’t be collected as the lorry couldn’t get down knockholt road. Many residents are elderly and could need an ambulance. Protect the locals please.

  5. The most pathetic useless population of all time. Bored with the pandemic so they go and flood down the beach. Lets hope we dont have the same fate as Weston Super Mare

  6. Forget it folks, we’ve been hung out to dry again. Yet again Botany Road is like an assault course with cars struggling to park. That’s nothing compared to what I witnessed. A couple with a young child stopped on their way to the beach when the male not only sneezed but proceeded to spit into a neighbours garden. If this continues there will be consequences, we need some help and support from the authorities but I’m not holding my breath. Disgraceful but not surprising! I can’t wait to here from others who clearly don’t live in the area tell me not to be so concerned, believe me they’ll be telling me I’m the problem and we should welcome these visitors. Is it just me then, I don’t think so!

  7. How many businesses that signed the petition last week pleading for tourists to stay away were open today I wonder?

  8. Why worry? Unless there is one rule for the Tories & one for the plebs, then as Mr Cummings says nothing wrong with it & no regrets.

  9. in the turner center car park this morning there was a campber van in the disabled space and the remains of a night of drinking with table/chairs rubbish and beer bottles everywhere, go to palm bay many caravans and camper vans clearly sleeping there. So many are ignoring the rules which makes the whole lock down a joke

  10. Probably an unpopular view but you can’t blame the visitors. They are only doing what the government have said is ok to do. It’s not their fault TDC have been asleep at the wheel and haven’t opened the toilets in some of the best beaches we have to offer. I can only imagine the stink of urine and human faeces down there tonight which, ironically, TDC are now going to have to clear up. All this could have been avoided with sensible planning to reopen facilities once lockdown ended and not the dithering shambles we have seen recently by TDC’s finest.

  11. Police everywhere in Broadstairs late afternoon today , on beach with a muslim guy with a BBQ that just didn’t abide by police advice , police with three topless lads outside tescos , five police cars ! Then the police again with Muslim guy outside coop Broadstairs high street on way to station ! Lots of people in Broadstairs and Ramsgate not distancing , most seem to be speaking russian !

    • How the hell do you know the person having a barbecue was Muslim??! Was he repeatedly chanting “Allah U Akbar”?! Why do you ignorant, racist, morons have to mention people’s religion when it has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the story?! How many Jews, Christians, Catholics, & Buddhists were on the beach? Sod off to Trumpland & join the KKK.

  12. On Ramsgate seafront there was a big guy about 50 pushing a bike , near wetherspoons , holding his mobile phone , Coughing continuesly as he was walking past and though everybody , not giving a dam ! Just coughing and spraying it everywhere !!!!!

  13. The fighting was also at the harbour arm. Two groups of idiot young kids.
    The sun brings out the worst and sadly some of the worst come to our beaches.
    Botany Bay residents. Why not block the bloody road and have residents police the entrance exit to stop the tourists. Take matters in your own hands.
    If like you say the fire engines can not get down or other blue lights due to the number of outbid town vehicles then the out of towners will have to find somewhere else.

    I expect one day the big field by the pub will be a car park for the beach.

    The council do not police the over parking. They should have been out issuing fines. The fines would pay for the officers salary easily.

  14. I love the Thanet Coast but regard the beaches as good places to stay away from during bank & summer holidays, they just get swamped by yobs from elsewhere.

  15. I think we should leave the beaches to the visitors at weekends and bank hols. We are lucky enough to have them all the time

    • Di Iam- this is what I usually do, going to the beach only for a quick swim. I live a short walk away but I also know what it’s like to live in a crowded London borough.

      I don’t, however ,think the government has been at all sensible in its interpretation of easing lockdown restrictions.

  16. As a local delivery driver who does not live in the Botany and Percy Road area I have great sympathy for the residents. As soon as the good weather appears the area is invaded by ignorant rude non local abusive visitors. The council do nothing to protect their council tax payers and the Police are not in a position to deal with this chaos. These horrors do nothing for local businesses as most of them bring their own food drink, barbecues etc and then the council spends more money on clearing up the trash they have left behind. It is now time to charge £25 per head for any visitors to these beaches and £5 per hour parking like other British resorts. Local people would be allowed free entry on showing photo ID. These local residents should not have to suffer this awful behaviour.

  17. Not much generosity of spirit in these comments. How sad. Of course people are entitled to enjoy the beaches and wide open spaces. Not much spread of infection there in the heat if you’re objective. Families and young people need this just now. Independent businesses need to try and reopen soon. Stink of dog waste noticeable all the time as well. But that doesn’t cause the same outrage funnily enough.

  18. Those fighting on Broadstairs beach did not seem to be obeying the Queensberry Rules – especially the chav in the lime green shorts who runs in, kicks somebody who is already lying on the ground, and then runs away again ! ! !

  19. I’m surprised how many people are prepared to go to the beach to be honest and buy ice creams etc. I personally find it repulsive at the moment and certainly would feel at risk doing so. The beach is packed, social distancing is mainly not being maintained and using the toilets ergh it’s just awful. … and the group of people fighting on the beach, it’s just crazy. This isn’t a normal summer, we are in the middle of a pandemic… prep for a second wave of covid. I hope it doesn’t happen but thinking it will.

  20. You would have to see all the rubbish left at Botany bay/Kingsgate to believe it, there’s loads of it, every bin is overflowing, its even been stacked up in the entrance to the still locked toilets, both the entrance ways for male / female toilets have been used as the toilet & its literialy running down the steps that go to the beach used nappy & god knows what else just chucked in the doorway, glass bottles on the beach, with even more rubbish strewn about. the only positive thing i can say is it looks like most people have at least taken there crap off the beach & dumped it up the top in & around the bins, but some have just trashed the place, i dread to think what else is laying around in the sand.its just disgusting. i think T.D.C can take the blame for the human waste thats now going to be polluting the area but at least they put lots of extra bins out, just a shame that some people don’t care enough to use them.

  21. The guy on the floor with the red shirt I passed yesterday on the high street with a case of beer him and his mate, these guys were drunk, alcohol can fuel fights , these scenes in our beaches are very sad to see, I’m local and I could cry when I saw this , where was the police.? They have no power to inforce social distance now.

    • Alcohol should be banned from all Thanet beaches.

      But, if it were banned, I don’t suppose TDC or the Police, would enforce it. The same as non enforced dog rules on beaches.

  22. Roger Gale MP said this would happen following Dominic Cummings trip to Durham. I have spent my holidays in Broadstairs for the last 40 years and have seen behaviour get worse year by year.

  23. Yes, there were clearly lots of idiots on the beach, not showing any sign or intention of social distancing. But I TOTALLY blame our shambolic government for ‘waftifying’ the rules that were WORKING PERFECTLY WELL TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE. First the ‘stay in changing to stay alert’ fiasco, then the Dominic Cummings farce. We already know that some people are more likely to disregard safety (because it is largely the safety of others, and sadly that minority of people just don’t care). Therefore the rules had to be tough, and upheld by the law. The new rules must make policing a worsening situation almost impossible. The lockdown required a degree of altruism and self denial that the majority of British people showed they had in spades. Sadly, our government and its advisor cannot claim either of those virtues and things will now have to get worse before they have any chance of getting better.

    • Couldn’t have said it better Bubbles. Our Boris has no idea of what a leader means. He’s full of bluster, waffle and acting like the posh idiot he is. I think he’s the real life version of Harry Enfield’s Tory Boy character, totally out of touch with reality. I wonder who voted for him? They’re very quiet right now.!!

  24. Don’t worry, Boris will sort it all out,after all Boris and his cronies are working night and day ramping up and levelling up on behalf of great British people.I’m sure he will find some for his loyal voters here.

  25. It’s interesting- people must choose to live by Botany Bay because it’s a lovely spot- then get annoyed at people who feel the same and want to visit. My husband and I are key workers who took our little one for a visit to the very quiet beach next to Botany Bay. We parked many roads away from the main roads into Botany Bay and a lovely resident keyed our new car….what a wonderful community. Peeking from behind the net curtains we know it was you! How sad and shameful. Please can people be kind and expect people to visit if you live somewhere very nice! All the angry commenters should use their Community spirit and energy to pursue the council to put parking provisions in!

    • Completely agree Happy Family. Of course people should be welcome to visit the seaside and there should be much more of a generosity of spirt around just now, not negative and rather ignorant sniping. How sad to live in that world. Terrible that someone did that to your car. There’s loads of dog waste around as well, but the snipers ignore that one. Communities should try to work together just now and try to build things afresh, not indulge in endless negativity and moaning.

  26. Westgate seafront also becoming a free campsite. So many RVs parked up for days and nights then taking up so much of the green with their awnings and windbreaks. Contributing nothing to the local economy. Disastrous

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