Dog walker stopped by beach race security

PUBLISHED: 11:00 13 October 2011

SunnySeaFront15    :     Hot weather pictures along Weston Sea Front. Big Wheel from beach    22-05-10   MA

SunnySeaFront15 : Hot weather pictures along Weston Sea Front. Big Wheel from beach 22-05-10 MA

Archant

AN UPHILL resident says she was 'gobsmacked' after being told she would have to pay £20 to walk her dog on Weston's beach at the weekend.

Celia Southern says she went to walk her dog with her family on Saturday when she was stopped by security guards for the Weston Beach Race, which took place last weekend.

Although she was planning on walking away from the area where the event was being held, she said security staff insisted they had to pay the fee – the price of a one-day event ticket – to walk on any part of the beach.

Mrs Southern said: “I have nothing against the event at all, I think it is good that it brings people to Weston.

“But we live only 100 yards from the beach and surely as council tax payers we have the right to walk along a public right of way on the beach?

“It seems ridiculous that we were confronted by this FBI-esque operation.

“We would not have been walking into the race area, it would have been around the perimeter. You can even walk along the perimeter at the runways at Heathrow airport.”

Event organiser Gareth Hockey, of RHL Activities, said his organisation had an agreement with North Somerset Council which saw them take over the running and liability of the entire beach for two weeks.

“It is for health and safety reasons that we do not allow anyone on the beach. If they want to come in and see it, then they can pay £20 for an entry ticket.”

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