Dog ban on borough's beaches now in force despite opposition

Dog owners are being reminded that the dog ban is now in place on North Tyneside’s beaches.

Monday, 4th May 2020, 1:05 pm
Updated Monday, 4th May 2020, 1:06 pm
The dog ban is now in place on North Tyneside's beaches, including at Cullercoats Bay.
The dog ban is now in place on North Tyneside's beaches, including at Cullercoats Bay.

North Tyneside Council has announced the ban is in place despite growing pressure from dog owners and walkers to lift the ban to allow more space to walk on the beaches.

More than 900 people have signed a petition on change.org calling for the ban to be delayed to allow for social distancing measures while exercising.

Gillian Tomkins, who started the petition, said: “To help us maintain social distancing when exercising, I ask that North Tyneside Council postpone the beach closures for dog walkers on Tynemouth and Whitley Bay beaches due to start on May 1, until the COVID 19 lockdown has ended.”

But the authority has announced the ban will remain in place for the start of the summer, meaning no dogs are allowed on King Edwards Bay and Cullercoats beaches, plus the southern parts of Tynemouth Longsands and Whitley Bay beach.

Phil Scott, Head of Environment, Housing and Leisure at North Tyneside Council, said: “After full and careful consideration, taking into the account the views of all beach users, the council has made the decision not to remove the seasonal dog ban during the Covid-19 lockdown.

“The existing legislation provides areas of beach for both dog walkers and other users to enjoy. Removing the ban would require changes to an existing Public Space Protection Order, which would be a very lengthy and complex process, involving a public consultation.

“We would risk losing our prestigious Blue Flag and Seaside Awards, which are hard-earned symbols of excellence for our beautiful beaches and the borough.

“We were also concerned that making changes now would create confusion for the public at a time when clarity about the rules has never been more important.

“Open spaces and parks across the borough continue to be accessible for local dog walkers and other users.

“We have contacted the petitioners to let them know our reasons for making this decision.”