Fleetwood beach fails quality test

Fleetwood beach has failed strict EU bathing water standards.
Fleetwood beach has failed strict EU bathing water standards.

FLEETWOOD beach has been named as one of the few to have failed strict EU bathing water standards from 500 tested nationwide.

Only nine sites in England failed to make the grade – five of them on the Fylde coast.

Blackpool central and south beaches, St Annes North, St Annes Pier, Heysham Half Moon Bay and Fleetwood failed the basic quality tests.

Alex Fishpool, who runs Hangtime Kiting on Fleetwood seafront, said: “Obviously water quality is a concern.

“It’s a problem for anyone who enjoys their pastimes in the water – fishermen, canoeists, kiters or anyone else.

“It’s something which needs to be looked at.”

Iain Johnston, a member of United Utilities’ Fleetwood Forum, added: “In the past we’ve always been coming within guidelines, not failing.

“We are due to have another meeting with United Utilities and I expect to be updated about this.

“One of the problems for Fleetwood is we are at the edge of an estuary and any contaminants can end up on our beach. The tidal drift also brings material up the coast towards Fleetwood.”

Nine out of 10 beaches and bathing spots in England and Wales met strict new EU standards for water quality this year.

The statistics from the Environment Department (Defra) and the Welsh Government showed just 10 out of 502 beaches and inland bathing sites in the two countries failed basic water quality standards. And a record 89 per cent of the bathing waters, a total of 447 sites, met the tougher European standards due to come into force by 2015. The Environment Agency has secured a further £4bn for environmental improvements.