Police To Block Long-Distance Drivers At Welsh Border During Firebreak Lockdown

Sarah Turnnidge
·2-min read

Police in England have said they will patrol routes out of Wales while the country is under a two-week firebreak lockdown, turning back vehicles they suspect of making long journeys.

Gloucestershire Constabulary confirmed they will patrol routes into the Forest of Dean area and pull over vehicles they suspect of driving long distances.

The force said drivers who turned out to have driven out of Wales without a valid excuse would be advised to turn around and, if they refused, would then be reported to police in Wales who can issue fines.

A ban on people from high-risk areas of England travelling to Wales is currently in place, and residents were already unable to move between areas of Wales under local lockdown restrictions without a reasonable excuse such as work or education

Wales’ 17-day firebreak lockdown began at 6pm on Friday.

A spokesman for the force said on Friday: “While we cannot issue fines to those travelling from Wales into the county we can inform the host force of those we stop about what has happened so they can take action.

“Officers will be running an operation from tomorrow and over the weekend that will cover routes from Wales into the Forest of Dean and if we stop someone travelling from Wales we will be engaging with them to find out why, explaining the legislation and encouraging them to turn around if we are not satisfied with their explanation.

“If they don’t turn around we will then inform the force that polices the area they have travelled from so that they can issue a fine.

“It is important to stress that the vast majority of people are abiding by the rules but, in line with our policing approach, we will take action where there are flagrant breaches.”

Gloucestershire Constabulary said the road checks would form part of a wider police operation in response to high numbers of people from outside the Forest of Dean area visiting Cannop cycle centre and causing congestion by parking on grass verges near it.

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