A PICTURESQUE seafront footpath between Leigh and Chalkwell could be closed over the Easter weekend over social distancing fears. 

Cinder Path, which leads from Chalkwell rail station to Leigh Old Town, is a popular walking route along the seafrfont.

With the Easter weekend on the horizon, Southend Council is now in talks with Network Rail - which owns the  pathway - over potential closure because it is too narrow and may stop people social distancing.

In an update to Southend councillors, officers say: "We are talking to Network Rail about the Cinder Path which runs from Old Leigh to Chalkwell train station.

"Network Rail own this land, but it is a public right of way and officers are considering requesting its closure for the Easter weekend due to the width of the path and the inability to social distance because of this."

The council says they are looking at further parking measures on Ness Road which became busy at the weekend due to the seafront parking suspension.

The report adds officials are pleased to report that the seafront was mostly quiet over the weekend considering the good weather.

Officers say high-profile visibility from the Community Safety Unit (CSU), APCOA parking enforcement and the olice, along with the #DontVisitSouthend campaign was effective.

Just 56 parking fines were issued over the entire weekend across the seafront, demonstrating the levels of compliance, they say.