A COUNCIL has said it will take tough action to ban cars from Strathclyde Park after groups were accused of flouting lockdown measures by flocking to the area on Sunday.

North Lanarkshire Council say they will be taking steps to ensure cars can no longer access Strathclyde Park.

It came as some said that there were similar issues at Chatelherault Country Park.

HeraldScotland:

Images and videos emerged on social media over the weekend of vehicles and people packing into the popular park, despite government warnings put in place during the coronavirus outbreak.

One driver showed how easy it was to access the park, by touring around while swearing at drivers who had chosen to park up to exercise.

HeraldScotland:

The council posted on their Facebook page  that they would be taking action to make sure this did not happen again.

They stated: “This was Strathclyde Park today. We had already closed car parks, but we’ll be ensuring vehicles can’t access the park like this again, working with Police Scotland.

"Please be responsible. Driving to the park to exercise is against government guidance and definitely not responsible. #StayHome.”

Images of piled up traffic and people exploring the North Lanarkshire park flooded online, with the park eventually trending on Twitter due to the resulting anger from many social media users.

Official government advice is to "stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily".

It also says: "Gatherings of more than two in parks or other public spaces have been banned, and the police will enforce this."

HeraldScotland:

Bellshill councillor Jordan Linden is one of those who has contacted the chief executive of North Lanarkshire Council and the council’s Police Scotland liaison, raising the issue.

Paul Kelly, depute leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: "Thank you to everyone who contacted me regarding use of Strathclyde Park over the weekend by cars.

"This is a worrying situation as we all know the clear advice from the Government to stay home and exercise safely and sensibly. I have urgently raised this situation with the council."

Twitter user Jennifer Findlay  tagged Police Scotland in her post showing video of the busy car park, saying: "So we decided to walk to Strathclyde Park as it’s two minutes from home with the kids for exercise & I’m speechless I thought it was said people would be fined for travelling by car to walk yet the place is mobbed with cars I’m actually shocked."

But some on social media have argued that those going to the park were doing nothing wrong if they were practising social distancing.

A spokesman for North Lanarkshire Council said on Monday: “We had already closed all car park areas within our country parks. The main road through Strathclyde Park is used for access to Bothwellhaugh Cemetery and has also been used in the last week by businesses within the park to make their premises secure.

“We have now taken steps to prevent all vehicle access to the park, except when a funeral at the cemetery is scheduled. But we would ask people to take responsibility for their own actions. What we have seen this weekend potentially increases transmission of coronavirus.

“We are working closely with Police Scotland but the message is simple: do not drive to any of our country parks.”