Daytrippers will have to pay to park at one of Merseyside's most popular beaches from this weekend.
Ainsdale Beach has seen a rise in visitors since lockdown restrictions were eased. And for the past six weeks, parking has been free.
But Sefton Council says reintroducing paid parking is necessary, as it tries to fill a huge hole in its budget.
The local authority is facing an estimated £18million shortfall due to the "devastating" impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
At a cabinet meeting last month, council officer Stephan Van Arendsen said the key financial pressures included supporting those most vulnerable, a reduction in fees which the council charges residents for things such as the use of leisure centres and car-parking, and less council tax being received.
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Green Sefton Manager Mark Shaw said: “Reintroducing payments for parking on the beach is one of the ways we can start to reduce those effects and generate income for local service, including the care of our 22 miles of beautiful coastline."
The all-day charge for parking on Ainsdale beach is £8 and payments will be by cash only.
Mark Shaw added: "We have been trying to introduce a card payment system but connection problems due to the removal of a nearby mobile phone mast have made this impossible.
“We have, therefore decided to go ahead with a cash only system instead.
"Visitors are asked to have the right money available to hand over but we will have change that will be sanitised before use. However, as with any cash transaction, we wold recommend people clean their hands afterwards.”
For regular visitors, the council is offering a £20 annual season ticket for parking on Ainsdale Beach.
More details can be found here
Parking at all of Sefton's other beaches is pay-and-display too. The National Trust car park in Formby charges £7.50 per day, wth free admission to members.
People are also being reminded that a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) is in place preventing the outdoor consumption of alcohol in areas of Formby and Ainsdale Beaches, Southport Promenade, Crosby and Waterloo including by the Marine Lake, as well as Bootle, Southport and Formby town centres.
The PSPO can be enforced by police officers and authorised council officers, and fines for breaching it start at £50.