Southend Pier still a major attraction despite 2020 closures

Visitor numbers to the world’s longest pleasure pier in 2020 topped some of 2019’s figures, despite various restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In January, September and October 2020 Southend pier saw the number of visitors exceed the same months of 2019. January’s 2020 visitor figures of 16,808 is also a record number over the past 14 years. In total, there were 168,691 visitors to the pier in 2020, even though the attraction was closed for almost five months.

Southend Council is now looking forward to welcoming everyone back once we are able to reopen in 2021. With the new addition of the eco-friendly trains being installed this year, and further investment planned at the pier head, it will be another great reason to visit the world famous Pier.

Cllr Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, culture and tourism, said: “When we reopened the pier back in June, we knew that many people would be cautious about visiting, given the concern surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. However, we still managed to beat some 2019 visitor numbers.

“I am delighted to say we have seen over 168,000 people visit the pier in 2020 despite the various closures that were necessary. It is fantastic to see there is still a real interest in taking in the magnificent views 1.3miles into the estuary.

“The iconic pier trains, which have been in operation on the pier since 1986, will be retired this year. We are looking forward to introducing the new eco-friendly pier trains in 2021, which is even more reason to take a trip to the pier once we can reopen.”

The pier has been operating with several safety measures in place, including facemasks being worn in enclosed areas and on the trains (unless medically exempt), utilising the NHS track & trace system, sanitising stations, social distancing and regular cleansing of the pier trains, in line with the government rules and guidance.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]