Famed for its sprawling sand dunes, the two mile long expanse of West Sands that stretches out alongside the St Andrews Links is the last place you would expect to pose a health risk because of overcrowding.
But a Fife councillor has complained that the free parking, summer weather and beautiful views on offer have seen the normally secluded spot inundated by holidaymakers and camper vans.
Frances Melville reportedly said: “The issue of camper vans has just got worse and worse.
“Signage is not making any difference and now something has got to be done. What we allow and don’t allow has got to be controlled better.”
Robbie Blyth, of Fife Coast and Countryside Trust, added that social media’s promotion of West Sands as a holiday spot had exacerbated the situation. “It is an inappropriate place for anybody to camp.
“Caravans are parked too close together, there are containers of fuel and people are smoking. It is a genuine health and safety concern. You can’t just turn a blind eye, it needs to be managed,” he told reporters.
For Mr Blyth, the problem is a familiar one. Last year he told the Courier that a balance had to be struck between welcoming visitors but “educating” them that the West Sands road was not suitable for camper vans to pitch up on at night.
He said: “There used to be a barrier across the West Sands road at night but it was taken away after the road layout was improved a few years ago and the road became adopted by Fife Council.”
Fife Council recently published an online survey asking for holidaymakers’ experiences of the famous beach. “There is plenty of car parking, lots of information available and zoning of the beach to keep sand yachts and families apart. It is very popular for walking and running on as well as for swimming,” it said.