CAR parks at Renfrewshire beauty spots have been closed after scores of people flouted Covid-19 lockdown rules at the weekend.

Renfrewshire Council chiefs have now put barriers up in car parks at Gleniffer Braes Country Park, in Paisley, and Clyde Muirshiel Country Park, in Lochwinnoch, after both were flooded with vehicles.

Cops were hit with several complaints about the situation at the weekend and have increased their patrols at both sites, as well as at Paisley’s Barshaw Park.

A number of other car parks at greenspaces across the area have also been closed, including at Thomas Shanks Park, in Johnstone. 

READ MORE: Scores of punters defy social distancing rules in Gleniffer Braes

In a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus, people have been told not to leave their homes unless they are shopping for key supplies, attending essential work or doing daily exercise.

Police now have powers to enforce the lockdown restrictions on staying at home and closing non-essential businesses.

Inspector Tracy Harkins, of Paisley’s community policing team, insisted people should not be travelling anywhere outside their local area, even for exercise.

She said: “Over the past few days, we have received a number of reports from concerned residents regarding the volume of people attending the Gleniffer Braes Country Park and Muirshiel Country Park.

“While I appreciate people need to get out of the house to exercise, I would like to remind the public that, where possible, they should not drive to locations outwith their locality to carry out their daily exercise routine.

“If we all abide by the government guidelines and work together as a community, we may be able to significantly reduce the timescales placed on physical isolation.”

Almost 50 people have now died from contracting Covid-19 in Scotland, while more than 1,500 have tested positive for the virus.

Councillor Eddie Devine, who represents Paisley Southeast, backed Inspector Harkins’ call for people to get serious about what they are being asked to do.

The Gazette: Cllr Eddie Devine Cllr Eddie Devine

The Labour man said: “A few people were walking up the Braes with their dogs at the weekend and they were complaining about the amount of cars that were congregating at Robertson car park.

“There were also loads of cars at car parks off Glenfield Road.

“People really have to stop doing this. I had to get the police involved.

“I just don’t think people are grasping the seriousness of this. Some seem to think it doesn’t apply to them.

“I want to appeal to people to stop taking their cars to places and please just stay local.”

Full list of car parks shut due to Covid-19: 

• Robertson carpark at Gleniffer Braes
• Glen Lodge carpark at Gleniffer Braes
• Barshaw Park “K” gate and golf course carparks in Paisley
• Erskine Riverfront Park carpark
• Old Ferry carpark at Boden Boo Park in Erskine
• Thomas Shanks Park carpark in Johnstone
• Lochwinnoch Public Park and Castle Semple Loch carparks at Lochlip Road