FINES were issued when police clamped down on inconsiderate parking as visitors flocked to New Forest beaches and beauty spots over the bank holiday weekend.
An increasing number of motorists have been taking to local roads and travelling from further afield to enjoy the sun since the recent easing of the lockdown restrictions to limit the spread of coronavirus.
Many public car parks have also been reopened, but a series of posts by police on social media reported some vehicles were continuing to park on verges, in front of access gates or partially on roads.
This prompted reminders by the officers of the importance of leaving space for fire engines or tractors to pass, as well as keeping access to fields clear in case of emergencies.
Alongside pictures of some offending vehicles in the Forest, one police tweet on Monday said: “[Fire engines and tractors] are almost 8ft wide.
“If you leave just enough room for a family car to squeeze past in first gear then you’re putting lives at risk and preventing farmers getting to their fields.”
Another tweet on the same day reported officers had been helping rangers at Lepe Country Park deal with vehicles parked on double yellow lines.
“If [South Central Ambulance Service] need to get to a heart attack or child drowning, seconds count. This jam took minutes to clear,” the tweet said.
The previous day, police had handed out £30 penalty tickets for obstruction after vehicles were found blocking a rural road at Lepe.
Emphasising the “abundant” availability of Forestry England car parks, another police tweet on Sunday said too many vehicles were parking on Forest verges and “destroying the fragile countryside people have travelled to enjoy”.
A police Facebook post at the end of the holiday weekend called for motorists to be considerate of residents and other users of the land they are visiting.
“With the good weather due to continue for a while the local beaches and Forest car parks are getting busier and likely to remain so,” the post said.
“Please bear in mind local access points, Forestry [England] gates and where you park your cars, be considerate of the local residents.
“We’ve been on patrol around the Forest and Lepe/Calshot beaches today and seen multiple vehicles blocking access to narrow lanes and Forest gates.”
Fixed penalty notices involving fines had been issued for the offending vehicles, the post stated. It added that although parking on double yellow lines was not a police matter, New Forest District Council would be enforcing restrictions.