With record numbers of visitors expected for the return of The Cheltenham Festival next month, Cheltenham Borough Council is working with key stakeholders and agencies to ensure everyone is as safe as possible.

The festival, which runs from 15 to 18 March, sees the return of spectators and visitors for the first time since 2020. Record numbers of spectators and visitors are expected, with tickets sold out on all four days of the horse racing festival.

Cheltenham Festival 2020

The event was held behind closed doors in 2021 due to the Covid-19 restrictions in place at the time.

Cllr Martin Horwood, cabinet member for customer and regulatory services, said: “The festival is a hugely important event for Cheltenham and we look forward to welcoming the return of festival spectators and visitors.  

‘’But it’s also a big challenge for the council and its partners to manage and ensure people who visit Cheltenham during that week do so knowing that they will have a safe and enjoyable stay. I really want to thank council staff for all the extra efforts they make during race week.”

The council has been working to address concerns about women’s safety in the evening and night-time economy, particularly during horse racing festivals. In partnership with Gloucestershire Constabulary, the council is promoting the ‘Flare’ app - a Safer Gloucestershire app, created for women and girls, to anonymously share their experiences of how and where they’ve felt unsafe.

Cheltenham Festival 2020

Superintendent Roddy Gosden from the Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Local Policing Area said: “We are working alongside partner agencies and Cheltenham Racecourse in planning for the event to ensure that we have sufficient resources in place to manage the record attendances that are expected.

“Officers will be taking part in additional patrols, during both the day and night, as our main aim is to ensure that racegoers and those living in Cheltenham are able to enjoy themselves, but are also responsible and stay safe and I’d like to ask those attending to please keep this in mind.

“We are pleased to be working again with Cheltenham Borough Council to help promote the Flare App, as in previous years concerns have been raised about the safety of women. The app allows for incidents and concerns to be reported anonymously without the need for contacting the police directly.

“I’d like to encourage anyone with more serious concerns to report these by speaking to an officer, or calling 101; any emergencies should be reported by calling 999, this includes incidents where there’s a threat to life, risk of harm, a crime is in progress, or offenders are nearby.”

Licensing officers from the council and the police will be on duty, covering days and nights across all five days. Officers will focus on out of town taxis and private hire cars to ensure they operate lawfully and are safe. The council continues to take a zero tolerance approach to unlawful taxi activity and will again seek to prosecute any unsafe or unlicensed taxis chancing their luck during the 2022 Cheltenham Festival.

In addition, officers will also proactively visit and engage with licensed bars, clubs and other licensed premises to ensure they comply with their licence conditions, check on SIA accredited door staff, and deal with any issues which may arise with these venues during the week.

Other measures in place include:

- Support from the Street Pastors, Student Community Patrol and the Cheltenham Guardians

- Additional temporary toilets will be situated around the town and key routes to the racecourse

- The police community hub will be located on the High Street outside Marks and Spencer

- Public toilets in Royal Well and Montpellier will stay open later in to the evening

- Additional taxi marshals will be on duty for the Montpellier and Promenade taxi ranks

- South Western Ambulance Service’s minor injuries mobile treatment unit will be in operation, and

- Gloucestershire Constabulary’s mounted police will be in town during all four evenings.

Visitors to Cheltenham are advised to plan their journey as traffic orders will be in place, visit Gloucestershire County Council highways webpages or follow @glosroads on social media. Visitors to The Cheltenham Festival are encouraged to also check www.thejockeyclub.co.uk and their social media channels.

Number of spectators expected at The Cheltenham Festival 2022:

- 68k on Tuesday

- 60k on Wednesday

- 72k on Thursday and Friday

For further information visit - The Jockey Club


To plan your stay in Cheltenham during Race Week check out our helpful guides: 

Where to Stay in Cheltenham | Restaurants & Bars in Cheltenham | Shops in Cheltenham | Things To Do in Cheltenham | What's On in Cheltenham | Staycation in Cheltenham

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