BIKERS heading to Southend for an “unofficial shakedown” event will be directed to a seafront car park as the council’s safety team prepare for a busy bank holiday weekend.

Southend Council has warned the public they will see an increased presence of community safety officers and BID rangers across the city so everyone can enjoy a “fun and safe” Easter weekend.

The council’s CCTV van will also be out and about across Southend to monitor suspicious or criminal behaviour, while beach welfare officers, parking marshals and enforcement officers will be on patrols.

Traditionally, Southend Shakedown is held on Easter Monday with hundreds of bikers gathering for a rally on the seafront but with no official event planned this year an “unofficial shakedown” has been planned on social media.

Ahead of the unofficial event, Southend Council has confirmed any bikers will be diverted to a seafront car park.

A spokesman said: “Any motorbikes arriving at the seafront on Easter Monday will be directed to Eastern Esplanade car park (formerly known as Gas Works car park).

“Marine Parade will be open to through traffic, a small number of parking bays will be suspended and barriers will be in place to ensure public safety and to protect pedestrian areas being accessed by motorbikes.

“Crossing points will be marshalled.”

Alan Richards, executive director for environment and place, also issued advice to residents ahead of the weekend.

He added: “We want everyone visiting to feel safe and welcome, to have a great time and to look forward to coming again.

“We are working across the council and with Essex Police to ensure we are all set for a busy weekend whatever the weather.

“We ask that anyone spending time in the city is respectful towards the city and the staff working to keep everyone safe. Please bin any litter or take it home. If everyone does their bit, then we can all enjoy a fun and safe Easter weekend to the full.

“We will keep all public protection measures under review throughout the day and will be monitoring the weather forecast.

“Our plans will be flexible and, where possible, we will be ready to remove barriers quickly for example.”