Hundreds break social distancing rules to gather on Ilkley riverside

Hundreds of people flouted social distancing rules and swamped the Ilkley riverside this weekend.

By Rebecca Marano
Sunday, 31st May 2020, 4:59 pm

Large groups gathered by the River Wharfe to enjoy the hot weather on Saturday, May 30 despite UK coronavirus lockdown measures.

A video taken by passenger Kyle Hamilton as he drove down Denton Lane shows huge crowds of people relaxing at the Yorkshire beauty spot.

Revellers can be seen lounging on the sandy riverbank - known locally as 'Pebble Beach' - and queuing for ice cream at an ice cream van.

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Cars were also illegally dumped near the riverbank, causing obstructions on Hanningstone Road and Denton Road.

Kyle, 30, from Silsden, said: "I took the video at 4.30pm yesterday while we drove down Denton Road, near to Ilkley Lido.

"A lot of the cars just seemed dumped by the side of the road and there were PCSOs putting tickets on the cars.

"It seemed like the vast majority of the people weren't staying two metres away from each other.

Scenes on Saturday as day trippers pack the Pebble Beach, River Wharfe, Ilkley West Yorkshire during the Coronavirus Pandemic 2020. Picture Simon Wilkinson/

"If they then go up to the shops in Ilkley they can spread it to the local community.

"I think that's the point a lot of people are missing."

Kyle posted his video on Facebook where it has been shared and commented on more than 170 times.

Social media users expressed their outrage, saying the scenes were "unbelievable" and "selfish."

Rubbish left behind by day trippers to Ilkley's Pebble Beach on the River Wharfe, Ilkley, West Yorkshire during the Coronavirus Pandemic 2020. Picture Simon Wilkinson/

However, local residents were in for further dismay after photographs and video emerged of the litter left behind by day trippers.

Empty beer bottles, dirty clothes, plastic bottles, tins and food waste were discarded next to the river.

Kyle said: "There was an obscene amount of rubbish left."

West Yorkshire Police officers monitored the area on Sunday, May 31.

Stills from a video taken by Kyle Harrison showing the scenes in Ilkley on Saturday, May 30.

Fifteen parking tickets were issued to illegally parked drivers.

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