BCP Council has unveiled a new practical app allowing visitors to check which beaches across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are the least congested, in a bid to promote safety as the country eases from the Covid-19 lockdown.
BCP Beach Check, developed by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Tourism, has a traffic light system using the latest technology to help visitors and residents alike avoid busy hotspots as the warm weather continues.
The simple-to-use app is free to download and available now from Google Play and the Apple App Store.
App data is supplied by a mix of sources. At the start of the day, a prediction is set for each zone, based on previous data, factoring in the date and weather to show how busy we forecast each zone will be. From mid-morning, our Seafront Ranger team will be updating each section on a regular basis to reflect any changes in congestion observed. This is supplemented by CCTV and some footfall counters. A feedback function allows visitors to also give feedback so additional input is possible.
In addition to showing how busy each beach area is, the app provides handy information on the beach lifeguard status, whether toilets are open and information on byelaws for cycling along the promenade and exercising your dog. This means that long term the app is more than just a solution to help with social distancing.
Cllr Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council, said the app’s development – which began in April – was a welcomed asset to the council.
“We want to make sure everyone who comes to our shores remains as safe as they can be,” she said. “It is not hard to see why so many people flock to our beaches every year and we have witnessed first-hand just how popular our destinations can be.
“However, we want to ensure those that come here take their own safety and wellbeing seriously and that is the purpose of the development of this app. It you arrive you can simply click a few buttons and check to see which beaches have the capacity to accommodate more visitors. With 15 miles of coastline, there is more than enough space for people to be able to spread themselves around and maintain social distancing which is pivotal to ensuring the minimal spread of this pandemic.
“We wish our visitors to be responsible for themselves, their families and others visiting our beaches and Enjoy Summer Safely. Respect our beaches, Protect yourselves and Enjoy our award-winning coastline as safely as you can.”
Future possibilities for investment in the app’s development are also being looked at, with BCP Council keen to share the benefits by working with other coastal local authorities.