Drivers urged to stay at home as lockdown traffic increases

Public health chiefs in Lincolnshire have urged people to stay off the roads in lockdown after reporting an increase in traffic.

Tony McGinty, assistant director of public health at Lincolnshire County Council, said people should only be out for essentials, such as medicine, food or exercise only.

Earlier this week, Public Health England officials reported an uptake in the number of cars on the road across the UK during lockdown.

Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director at Public Health England, described the trend as “concerning”.

A chart from the Department of Transport on lockdown transport use. The blue line shows the number of vehicle users.

Mr McGinty said Lincolnshire Police had reported similar concerns to local health officials as the number of cars on the road increased compared to earlier in the lockdown phase.

He said he understood the public’s frustrations, but reiterated that people should stay at home and only go out for essentials.

“The number of vehicles have started to climb again and I can understand why some people may get that stir crazy feeling,” he said.

Tony McGinty, assistant director of public health at Lincolnshire County Council. Photo: The Lincolnite

“But the clear message is that we are a long way from being out of the woods yet.

“It [the message] remains the same, do go about your essential business like food, medicine and exercise. But do not do other business and think it’s important.

“It is not as important as helping other people avoid the virus.”

Yesterday, Nettleham Police reported an increase in traffic in its area and took to Facebook to urged people to “stay at home and save lives”.

It comes as the UK is into its second week of lockdown, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson expected to review the measures over Easter.

Meanwhile, local authority officials have also urged people not to visit the Lincolnshire coast over the Easter weekend.

Police have appealed to drivers not to make the trip to the coast, while East Lindsey District Council has closed its main tourism car parks.

It comes as the UK is into its second week of lockdown, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson expected to review the measures over Easter.

But Mr McGinty told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that he expected the restrictions to be extended.

“Looking at the virus in other countries, we are weeks away from slacking off restrictions,” he said.

Follow the latest coronavirus lockdown updates here

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