A BOROUGH environment boss has warned residents going to the park or out into other public spaces for a walk to leave their vehicles at home.

Cllr Jim Smith said car parks at Blackburn with Darwen Council’s recreation areas had been shut.

He said while people should exercise while practising social distancing, they should not drive to do so.

Cllr Smith said: “While government coronavirus guidelines allow people to leave their homes once a day to exercise, this should be from home and should not involve driving to popular spots across the borough.

“Our parks and open spaces remain open, but, where possible, the car parks have also now been shut with the gates closed.

“This includes Witton Park (and the sports pitches), Pleasington playing fields (close to the cemetery gates) and Sunnyhurst Woods.

"Lancashire Police have been regularly patrolling the areas and have been putting up new posters to remind residents they must only being making essential journeys.

“Those caught flouting the rules will be fined.

“The advice is clear – we must all stay home, help protect the NHS and save lives.

“We appreciate these are anxious times for our residents and exercise is important for our physical and mental health.

“We want people to go out and get some fresh air, but please stay local and leave your cars at home.

“We all have a really important part to play in protecting ourselves and our families.”