Coronavirus: Road into Cheddar Gorge shut by police after people flock to beauty spot

Cheddar Gorge viewed from above in Cheddar, Somerset, England
The road into Cheddar Gorge in Somerset has been closed (Picture: Getty)

Police have shut down a road leading to popular tourist attraction Cheddar Gorge after people flocked there during the lockdown.

Somerset County Council and Avon and Somerset Police closed the B3135 Cliff Road "for public safety reasons" after the area saw increased visitors, including “boy racers and a couple having a birthday celebration.

A barrier closure was set up on Friday and it will stay in place until 8am on Monday at the beauty spot in the Mendip Hills, Cheddar, Somerset.

It comes after cars were spotted travelling at high speeds along the route and travelling long distances to reach the picturesque spot despite restrictions being put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Read more: Drinkers 'found hiding in cupboards' when police shut down pub

Cheddar Gorge in the Mendip Hills, Somerset, UK.
Cheddar Gorge in the Mendip Hills, Somerset (Picture: Getty)

Police last weekend found three families meeting there having driven from outside the county.

Officers also spotted a couple visiting the gorge for a birthday outing, and a family parked up eating a takeaway pizza.

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They also found a person who claimed to be "doing an essential shop" - but lived 60 miles away.

Superintendent Mike Prior said: “Last Sunday, the gorge had as many parked cars as we would expect to see during the peak-season.”

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Boris Johnson said on Thursday Britain was now past the peak of its coronavirus outbreak and promised to set out a plan next week on how the country might start gradually returning to normal life.

Under pressure to outline an exit strategy from the lockdown, Johnson promised to set out a “menu of options” on how restrictions could be eased, but said the exact dates of any change would be driven by scientific advice.

He added face coverings may play a part in the next phase, departing from the government’s line up until now, which was that there was insufficient evidence to call on the general public to start using them.

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