A new app is helping domestic holidaymakers in the UK avoid crowded beaches.
Beach Check UK allows users to check the status of a beach before they arrive and to encourages them to discover beaches that are quieter and less crowded.
Then app provides a traffic light system combining technology and on-the-ground authorised users who assign a colour code to beaches according to the number of visitors.
Other factors that inform the status of each beach is the ability for visitors to socially distance and the number of available car park spaces.
The free app was piloted by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council in summer 2020 during the UK’s first lockdown and saw 40,000 downloads during that period.
Following its successful first phase, the app has been funded by the government’s Local Digital Collaboration Unit at MHCLG the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to roll it out nationally.
It is currently available for Hayling Island, Hampshire; Camber Sands and Bexhill Beach, East Sussex; Thanet (Margate, Broadstairs, Ramsgate); Westward Ho!, Devon; West Wittering, West Sussex, Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch and Minehead Somerset.
The National Coastal Tourism Academy is supporting BCP Council in the roll out of their app and is encouraging resorts nationwide to adopt it.
NCTA Director Samantha Richardson said: “When temperatures have soared both this year and last, we have witnessed over-crowding on numerous hot-spot beaches around the country. This app developed by BCP Council allows users to plan ahead, travel to quieter areas to ensure safe social distancing.
“We have one of the world’s most amazing coastlines and this year we hope that many UK visitors will explore a new stretch of the coast and have the holiday of a lifetime.”
There are plans to sign up more coastal locations, and users are encouraged to contact their local authority if they feel their area would benefit.