Vehicles on Rother Beaches

Status: Current

We are consulting until 3 May on whether or not to create a public space protection order to fine people who drive, park or camp on Rother’s beaches. After incidents in 2023 at Herbrand Walk, Bexhill and on Camber sands, this is a possible solution to stop anti-social behaviour and environmental damage.

The council would particularly like to hear from beach users, neighbouring residents, businesses and services on or near the beaches and various groups that use the beaches for business or leisure. We are consulting the relevant town and parish councils with beaches in their borders.

Our problem at Herbrand Walk

In 2023, there were incidents at Herbrand Walk, Bexhill with vehicles blocking other users. Campers were blocking sea safety signs. Vehicles blocked the access route for the Environment Agency vehicles that needed to carry out vital flood defence work. 

This was part of a pattern of increasing use by motorhomes or campervans driving on to the beach and staying for prolonged periods. We acknowledge that most people don’t cause problems and move if asked to do so.

The minority have spoiled it for everyone. We have had raves. Fires are lit on the beach using commercial timber that deposited metal nails and other debris on to the beach. Human waste and toilet paper were found where campers used the beach as a toilet. Vehicles got stuck on the beach and wheel spinning caused shingle to be spread over the adjacent road and that caused a safety issue.

The road along Herbrand Walk has double yellow lines. Parking is prohibited one (1) metre onto the beach.

We are aware that there are beach hut owners who want to park behind their hut.

Our problem at Camber

At Camber, as a safety control measure, the council has a safe access point on to the beach for emergency service vehicles and other vehicles with access permitted by Rother District Council and East Sussex County Council. 

Unfortunately, other drivers drive their own vehicles onto the beach. This is a safety concern, especially considering how busy Camber beach can get during the summer. We have concerns about children, dogs and kite-surfers.

We have had vehicles being driven in tight turns and getting in the way of other beach users. 

Who we’ve talked to already

Last autumn, the council had discussions about the problem with vehicles on beaches with various local agencies:  Sussex Police, NES enforcement staff, East Sussex County Council’s street parking enforcement team, the Environment Agency and Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd.

A public space protection order is one of the long-term solutions that we have all agreed to take to solve the local problems.

What is a Public Space Protection Order?

A public space protection order (PSPO) is a tool that can be used by councils to improve enforcement against anti-social behaviour. A PSPO gives the council’s staff and Sussex Police the power to immediately issue a penalty notice (a fine) of £100 if someone fails to comply with the order. The amount is set by law. Otherwise, the council would have to build a legal case and take people to court. 

A PSPO is an immediate penalty compared to waiting for a court date and decision. Going to court might result in a higher penalty.

The order is designed to cover only specific anti-social behaviour in specific public open spaces.

It is already against the law to drive, park and camp on some of Rother’s beaches without authorisation, and to drive in a way that damages the beach or is a danger to other users.

An order just adds more powers to help with enforcement and it can be a useful tool because it is an immediate, on-the-spot deterrent.

Our proposal for all of Rother’s beaches

The recent problems have been at Bexhill, specifically Herbrand Walk, and Camber. We propose a new public space protection order for ALL the beaches in Rother. 

Extending the order to all beaches might be appropriate. Banning vehicles on one or two beaches or parts of beaches might move the poor behaviour along the coast. We think the same ban for all beaches would be clearer for everyone to understand.

At the moment, some Rother beaches do not have a ban on vehicles. This proposal would impact people who like to park or camp on the beach.

The Council would permit some vehicles access to the beach, if there was a good reason to allow this, including emergency vehicles and for flood protection works.

This proposal does not impact the electronic access barrier at Channel View East on to Bexhill promenade.

It is up to you to say if you agree with our proposal and what the impact would be on you.

How to take part

Please take part by completing our online questionnaire. Click on the button below:

You can download a printable version of the survey.  A large print version is available on request.

You can email the council with any questions or your responses to this consultation at

Or write to the council at Vehicles on Beaches Consultation, Rother District Council, Town Hall, Bexhill on Sea, TN39 3JX.

You can hand in a written submission to the Town Hall at Bexhill or our customer help point on Wednesdays at the Almonry in Battle (Battle Town Council offices). Our customer services staff can help you use the electronic questionnaire or get a printed version.

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