PARKING wardens patrolling Britain’s coast ran out of tickets as thousands of people rushed to the beach today.
Police had to close off coastal car parks and begged visitors to return home, as cooped-up Brits enjoyed the hottest day of the year so far.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
Beaches in Brighton, Blackpool and Devon were packed today, with police warning cars parked illegally on double yellow lines would be towed away.
It comes after the Met Office confirmed that today is the hottest day of the year so far, with temperatures reaching 27.8C at Heathrow.
Police in the South West said parking attendants were running out of tickets, and pleaded with the public not to visit the coast.
Cops from Barnstaple, North Devon, tweeted: “Traffic wardens are running out of tickets. Do not abandon your cars.
“Emergency vehicles can’t get through! They will be towed away!”
Sadly every double yellow line from Woolacombe to Morthoe is covered with cars and vans.
North Devon police officer
Brits living in England have been allowed to go to the beach since May 13 – although it is still classed as a high-risk area if it’s crowded.
The government has also said that people can meet with one person from another household if they stay two metres apart, and can take unlimited amounts of exercise outdoors.
Several routes into beaches in Devon were left clogged with traffic as police described seeing “Cars mounting pavements”.
One officer from North Devon wrote online: “Sadly every double yellow line from Woolacombe to Morthoe is covered with cars and vans.
“Cars mounting pavements to get by whilst pedestrians try to cross the road.
“All offences have been recorded and will be processed in due course.”
Devon County Council later said that around 70 Penalty Charge Notices have been issued to illegally parked motorists near Woolacombe beach.
Ilfracombe and Braunton Police, also from North Devon, asked visitors to return at a quieter time.
They wrote on Twitter: “Roads towards the North Devon coast are now gridlocked. There are no amenities open or toilets.
“We have vehicles from all over the country identified, please do not travel here.
“We will still be here when this is over so come back when it’s safe to do so.”
The heatwave is set to continue into the bank holiday weekend – with today’s scenes causing concerns for the RNLI who revealed there are no lifeguards on any beaches due to the coronavirus outbreak.
For the first time ever, they are urging people to not use inflatables in the sea, with dangerous surf conditions expected in some areas.
All lifeguard training and recruitment was stopped when the lockdown was announced on March 23.
The RNLI now fears they will online have enough people to patrol 70 of the UK’s 200 beaches during the peak of summer.
CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – STAY IN THE KNOW
Don’t miss the latest news and figures – and essential advice for you and your family.
To receive The Sun’s Coronavirus newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.
To follow us on Facebook, simply ‘Like’ our Coronavirus page.
Get Britain’s best-selling newspaper delivered to your smartphone or tablet each day – find out more.