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To consider whether the car parks on the Downs should now open to the public. To facilitate future decision making by agreeing a scheme of delegation for the opening and closing of the Car Parks managed by the Council on behalf of the Conservators in cases of emergency or urgency.
The Conservators received a report requesting consideration of whether the car parks on the Downs should now open to the public. The Conservators were asked to agree a scheme of delegation for the opening and closing of the Car Parks managed by the Council on their behalf in cases of emergency or urgency.
All car parks on the Downs were currently closed in response to the Covid-19 virus situation and Government’s restrictions on travel away from home, which aimed to limit the spread of the virus.
The Conservators received a presentation from Epsom and Ewell Borough Council’s Chief Legal Officer detailing the car parking facilities on the Downs, changes to Government guidance and the effect of the verge parking on the Downs. The presentation highlighted the options available to the Conservators with regard to car parking on the Downs.
The following matters were considered:
a) Safety. Members spoke about the safety of the public and other Downs users, with particular reference to the Racehorse Trainers. Members highlighted the importance of the Downs as a Racehorse training environment, and need to prioritise use for racehorse training between the hours of 06.15-noon.
b) Signage. Members spoke about the possibility of providing additional temporary signage to inform visitors of the use of the Downs by Racehorses in training, given that visitors to the Downs may not be familiar with the area. It was noted that there were already a number of signs for that purpose on the Downs, in accordance with a scheme previously agreed by the Conservators. The Conservators had previously expressed a wish to avoid a proliferation of signs on the Downs.
The Chairman informed the Conservators that this matter was not included on the agenda for the meeting and was not for consideration at this time.
c) Options for reopening of car parks. The Conservators considered the options available for the reopening of car parks on the Downs. A preference for the reopening of all available car parks with the exception of the Top Car Park (also known as the Mile post car park) was expressed. It was noted that there was a potential to temporarily open a section of the Upper Tattenham Enclosure to increase capacity, if the Top Car Park remained closed. Epsom Downs Racecourse and Council Officers would investigate this possibility.
Following consideration, it was resolved:
That the Conservators agreed with 8 Members voting in favour, 1 abstention and the Chairman not voting, to:
(1) To note the effect of Covid-19 on the support services provided by Epsom and Ewell Borough Council;
(2) To note the letter from TGMB (Annex 2 to the report) and consider their request in relation to the availability of public car parking (Annex 1 to the report) on the Downs;
(3) Agreed the opening of all the car parks referred to in paragraph 1.2 of the report, to the public with the exception of the Old London Road Car Park known as the Top Car Park on the Plan at Annex ... view the full minutes text for item 24.