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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 May 2007, 17:27 GMT 18:27 UK
Car ban beach awarded blue flag
2007 is the first year Pendine has been awarded a blue flag

A west Wales beach has won a coveted blue flag award three years after banning cars from its sands - but some locals would rather not have it.

Vehicles were stopped from going on to Pendine in 2004 as Carmarthenshire Council tried to improve safety.

It said the ban had paid off now the beach had won the award.

Some locals claim visitor numbers have dropped and say they would prefer to see the ban lifted rather than have a blue flag.

This year, 44 beaches and five marinas in Wales have the award which recognises water quality, cleanliness and the quality of facilities.

The county council's parks manager Neil Perry said: "The blue flag is the culmination of a lot of hard work.

"It also means there has to be a high regime of litter management, provision of information, strict dog controls within the boundary swimming areas and sustainable environmental management."

I don't think the blue flag is going to change anything
Councillor Cyril Davies

The eight-mile beach at Pendine is famous as a venue for several attempts on the world land speed record.

But cars were stopped from going onto the beach in 2004 after a number of incidents.

Local councillor Cyril Davies said the ban had made it difficult for some people to access the beach, which had driven trade away.

"I've got a small caravan site - most of the people who visit are elderly," he said.

"The last two or three years since they've closed us off to cars we've lost out on those people - you go to Pendine now and it's a ghost town.

"I don't think the blue flag is going to change anything - what we need is for the beach to be open again for people to go down with cars."

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