Locals have been questioning whether a popular outdoor swimming pool is ‘worth it’ after complaints have mounted regarding its bizarre opening times.

The Northcroft Lido at Northcroft Leisure Centre in Newbury has been regularly used by the community for years, many people visiting the outdoor pool for lane swimming.

But despite the commencement of the school Easter holidays, the lido has only been open at certain peak times, early in the morning and again at 7 pm, leaving many members distraught that they cannot use it when they want to.

Newbury resident Simon Kirby said that he is surprised that the pool is empty during the Easter break as he would expect families to be taking advantage of it.

He said “Northcroft Lido is a fantastic facility, but it's empty. It just seems that people aren't being allowed in during the day.

“In the Easter holiday, I'd have thought there'd be plenty of people wanting to mess about in the water.”

The contract manager at Northcroft Leisure Centre Richard May confirmed that the outdoor pool has been unable to open fully as local flooding has caused some delays.

He said that the operation of the pool requires a significant turnover of fresh water, so the more swimmers we have, the more water drainage is required.

This can put additional strain on the local infrastructure and water table, potentially impacting neighbouring residents.

Therefore, the leisure centre made the decision to adopt a controlled approach to the lido’s opening.

Mr May said “It has been great to welcome the community back to Northcroft Lido for lane swimming, and we are pleased that we have been able to open earlier than ever before.

“We are assessing water levels every day and will continue to keep our customers updated.

“We want the pool to open in full as much as everyone else does, and we look forward to a summer of fun at Northcroft Lido. Fingers crossed for sunny weather!”

Despite the valid points given by Northcroft Leisure, some members still feel that the establishment has gone downhill since Covid and its booking system is lengthy and complicated.

Deborah Caulfield said that since lockdown the centre’s new contract with WBC to run its leisure centres has drastically changed the way things are done at the lido.

She said “For a publicly subsidised community facility the pools are a disgrace. I can‘t speak for gym users, but I was a regular swimmer for years until covid. Then everything changed.

“I loved the outdoor pool, and when it was open I used it several times a week, whatever the weather. Because of disability, swimming is the only exercise I can do.

“I can’t really afford it, but I’ve joined David Lloyd because I can swim when I want, any time of day, without the nonsense of having to book in advance, and without the indignity of being herded in and out at set times.”