Dovestone Reservoir car park to reopen

The car parks at United Utilities' reservoir and recreational sites - including at Dovestone Reservoir - will reopen from tomorrow (Friday).

However, the water company is urging visitors to observe social distancing, as well as follow guidance and signs at each individual site. 

The move is in line with the latest Government measures, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirming that from Wednesday (May 13) people can now drive as far as they want to exercise "irrespective of distance" and for "leisure purposes" including sunbathing.  

It also follows chaotic scenes at Dovestone Reservoir today (Thursday) where scores of drivers have been pictured parking on pavements - despite it being closed to cars. It has been open to local pedestrians for daily exercise during lockdown, but car parks have been shut. 

United Utilities say that, while car parks and gated entrances will now reopen, toilets and other facilities on site will remain closed for the time being, in order to maintain safe distances between visitors. Car park pay-stations will not be in use to help minimise any physical contact.

Visitors will see signage at the reservoir sites reminding them to observe a two-metre social distance from those outside their household.

Barbecues, fires and camping are not permitted and swimming is not allowed in the reservoirs.

Paula Steer, United Utilities’ director responsible for health and safety and estate management, explained: "We know how much people enjoy visiting the beautiful countryside around our reservoirs, and it will come as welcome news that the Government’s lockdown restrictions are beginning to lift.

"It’s important to remember that this is a phased approach and we are relying on visitors to be public-spirited.  Please be courteous to our employees and local residents – reservoirs are their workplace and home – and be prepared for it to be busy. You may struggle to find a parking space, and if that happens it may be better to come back another day rather than block narrow roads or put yourself or others at risk in crowded areas.

"We are all in this together, and anything you can do to ease the pressure, like taking your litter home with you, would be much appreciated." 

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