Following the advice of Gloucestershire Police, Cheltenham Borough Council has made the decision to close all car parks from today (Friday 27 March) that service the borough’s parks and open spaces. 

Whilst parks and open spaces are very important at this challenging time, the Government message is clear #StayHomeSavesLives. Everyone is asked to help by minimising car journeys and ensuring social distancing to help control the spread of the virus to the wider community, and the most vulnerable. 

Inspector Mike Yates of Gloucestershire Neighbourhood Crime Team said: “Cheltenham Police support the decision to close carparks attached to parks and public spaces.  It is essential that people only leave their homes for very limited purposes, and even then, any time spent away from the home should be limited to the absolute minimum. 

“Unfortunately, public spaces with parking provisions have been used in recent days for gatherings and activities, such as picnicking and group sports.  Travel at this time should be limited to essential journeys, and not to facilitate leisure activities. 

“Whilst people are permitted to leave their homes for one form of exercise per day, this again should be limited as far as possible (examples include walking, running or cycling). 

“We’re committed to ensuring that social distancing measures are adhered to, and the closure of these carparks will support us in this objective.  We will continue to carry out extensive high visibility patrols in order to provide reassurance and compliance with enforced social distancing.  If the closure of carparks resulted in individuals parking inappropriately in alternative locations, officers would be on hand to deal with this.”     

Tim Atkins, managing director of place and growth, continued: “We are extremely lucky in Cheltenham to have such a large number of open spaces available to use and our advice is to walk to these spaces for your daily exercise. 

“This may mean you may use open spaces you don’t traditionally use, but we urge you to think about the journeys you are making and how you make them.”

The current rules being enforced states that there are only four reasons we should be leaving our homes:

  1.      One form of daily exercise (which includes walking your dog)
  2.      Shopping for essentials
  3.      Travelling to and from work
  4.      To fulfil medical needs

It’s important to remember to take care of your mind as well as your body and to get support if you need it. Stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media. There are also sources of support and information that can help, such as the Every Mind Matters website.

For further information about the work the council is doing in the community and for businesses, please see its new dedicated webpages:

A community help hub has been set up to provide support to cope with the changes to lifestyles necessary to delay the spread of Covid-19. Anyone in Gloucestershire who needs help or wants to volunteer, is asked to go to or telephone 01452 583519.




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