Beaches lack best standards

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WEARSIDE’S beaches have been missed off a recommended bathing spots list.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) released its Good Beach Guide today recommending which shores have the best water quality.

The number of beaches hitting the high standard increased this year, but Sunderland and Roker beaches met only the guideline standard.

Seaham beach and Seaham Hall beach were both recommended, and overall the North East was one of the better spots in the country.

It comes after fears that Sunderland’s beaches will not be up to scratch under planned new European rules.

Rachel Wyatt, MCS coastal pollution officer, said: “The next few years are critical as the quality of the UK’s bathing waters can play a vital role in the economic recovery of our traditional seaside resorts.

“From 2015 Europe’s beaches will be classified using even stricter water quality standards due to the revision of the Bathing Water Directive.

“But instead of viewing these new standards with dread, our coastal communities and water companies should welcome them as an opportunity to attract more people to the UK’s wonderful and varied seaside resorts”.

The “guideline” rating means Sunderland’s beaches meet the European guideline standard for good water quality.