Beach off-roaders warned to stay away

Off-road drivers are being warned they face prosecution if they continue to drive on Fraserburgh beach.

Monday, 20th August 2018, 11:21 am
Updated Monday, 20th August 2018, 11:29 am
Councillor Brian Topping with one of the signs warning of prosecution at Fraserburgh beach
Councillor Brian Topping with one of the signs warning of prosecution at Fraserburgh beach

New signs have been erected along the local sands from Cairnbulg to Waters of Philorth.

It follows a number of complaints from beach users who have been concerned by the antics of off-roaders on both the beach and the sensitive dune systems - especially round Tiger Hill.

In a joint initiative between Police Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council and Scottish Natural Heritage, quadbikers, off-road motorcyclists and vehicles drivers are being warned that if caught they could have their vehicles seized and may be subject to prosecution.

In addition to the warning signs, the council has installed barriers, bollards and even large boulders to restrict access to the beach.

For several years, local councillor Brian Topping has tried to hold dialogue between the various parties on the subject of off-roading to come to a mutually-beneficial understanding.

Councillor Topping told us: “I had always hoped we could come to a solution whereby off-roaders could be permitted to use certain areas of the beach - perhaps down at the water’s edge - or even using certain areas at particular times of the day.

"I didn't realise then that it was illegal to drive on the beach and dunes, but now that we have been made aware we want everyone to know of the implications."

Cllr Topping, who chairs the Fraserburgh and District Community Safety Group, continued: “It’s sad that it’s come to this as I believe it was probably a minority of off-roaders who were causing most of the problems.

“But we’ve heard of drivers coming flying over dunes when there have been walkers on the beach and from a safety perspective that is quite simply unacceptable.”

There have also been reports of anti-social behaviour by off-roaders deliberately trying to cover walkers and dog walkers with sand.

Anyone who witnesses anti-social driving on the beach should phone Police Scotland on 101.