THIRTY thousand people flocked to Barry Island on Friday, July 31, on what had been predicted to be one of the hottest days of the year.

Emergency services maintained a strong presence throughout the day as temperatures reached 27C, before cooling down to around 22C.

Officers dealt with anti-social behaviour after some scuffles broke out, and around 40 youths gathered in the Old Harbour.

Police intelligence suggested that fights were being pre-arranged with people travelling from the Valleys to get involved and confront Barry youths.

South Wales Argus: Whitmore Bay, Barry.Whitmore Bay, Barry.

Members of public complained to police about the lack of social distancing in Barry Island Pleasure Park and youngsters gathering in Maslin Park.

Police confiscated large quantities of alcohol and received reports of missing children.

South Wales Argus:

Ambulance personnel dealt with fainting incidents.

Traffic gridlock ensued, on and off the Island, with tailbacks on Port Road.

Traffic also went back as far as the McDonald’s roundabout, in Cardiff Road, Barry - three miles away.

Car parks were rammed and vehicles parked in residential areas.

Public transport users faced waiting times of more than two hours on trains, to and from Cardiff and Barry Island, and Cardiff Bus relaxed the 18 passengers per vehicle limit during late afternoon.

South Wales Argus:

Barry Island café owner, Marco Zeraschi said: “There was plenty of social spacing when the tide was out, but when the tide comes in, no.

“It was to be expected – a hot, sunny day, a nice presence of police, thank goodness, confiscating drink and dispersing anti-social behaviour children.

“Confiscating drink sends a message out: ‘don’t come to Barry Island and cause trouble, you’ll get arrested and have your drink taken off you.’

“There’s 25,000 to 30,000 people.

“From Ship Hill to get to Barry Island it took me about 20 minutes.”

South Wales Argus:

Meanwhile, police had received complaints about the absence of social distancing in Barry Island Pleasure Park.

Pleasure Park visitor, Tricia Price, of Newport, said: “I’ve come to Barry Island with my grandkids. It’s a day our for the family.

“There’s a lot of people down here.”

Barry Island Pleasure Park owner, Henry Danter said he thought there were 2,500 people in the park at any one time in the afternoon.

“I’ve had people on the gate,” he said. “They’ve said they’ve had so much hassle off people.

“People won’t do as they are told. They say they are all family together.

“We’ve got people with clickers. We’ve got signs everywhere.

“You say to them, ‘please can you social distance?’

“It’s not just in this Park. It’s everywhere – it’s an issue, it is a problem.

“They think they’re immune to this disease."

South Wales Argus:

On the alleged anti-social behaviour, Mr Danter said: “There were two gangs and they were fighting each other – out there.

“There must have been about 30 of them.

“Two fellas ran in here, they hit one in front of the pay box. I think the police got them.”

Mr Danter added: “I can cope with fairgrounds, but I can’t cope with coronavirus. It’s too much stress.”