POLICE have said they will continue to patrol Hartlepool’s beaches and prosecute drivers as part of efforts to curb sea coaling.
Inspector Mal Suggitt, of Hartlepool Police, said officers have stepped up patrols along the coast after residents complained about the noise and state of some sea coalers’ vehicles.
Two motorists have been prosecuted since July for having overloaded vehicles and say they will take action against anyone who uses unroadworthy vehicles to take sea coal.
Hartlepool Borough Council, which has also been monitoring the issue, is to install two metal barriers to prevent access to the basin area, off Maritime Avenue, at Hartlepool Marina.
Insp Suggitt told a meeting of Hartlepool Borough Council’s North and Coastal Neighbourhood Forum: “We have had complaints regarding sea coalers and the use of vehicles to access it.
“Since it was raised with us at the last neighbourhood forum meeting we have targeted the area and prosecuted two vehicle owners for having overloaded vehicles.
“We are focussing on whether vehicles are roadworthy and legal and will continue to prosecute any vehicles that are not roadworthy.”
Garry Jones, a neighbourhood services support officer, said sea coalers going on beaches had been an ongoing problem for a number of years.
But he told the meeting: “Funding has been approved for us to buy a couple of bollards.”
He added: “They will be put in to prevent access to the basin area at the request of ward councillors to stop the wagons.”
Residents have previously complained to the council about the noise and dirt made by motorised wheelbarrows used by sea coalers on the beach near the marina gates off Maritime Avenue.
Peter Braithwaite, 64, of told the Mail earlier this summer how they bring the coal up the beach and along the pedestrian walkway, onto the promenade and then onto the lorry.
Council papers said the problem had also moved to the Fish Sands at the Headland.
A council spokesman previously said the authority was monitoring the situation and asked people collecting se coal to give consideration to local residents.
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