Published on 3rd March 2023
The festival runs from Tuesday 14 March to Friday 17 March.
With large numbers of visitors to Cheltenham expected for the return of the Cheltenham Festival in 2023, the council is working with key stakeholders and agencies to ensure everyone is as safe as possible.
Record numbers of spectators and visitors are expected and additional measures have been brought in for the 2023 festival to combat antisocial behaviour. These include the racecourse’s ‘Love your Turf’ campaign, additional toilets in and around the town and more police and council officers stationed on Evesham Road at key times during the morning and evening.
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.
‘’We’re working with partners to ensure that during that week, previous challenges will be swiftly dealt with and residents and visitors to Cheltenham have a safe and enjoyable time.
‘’This year we are launching campaigns to keep Cheltenham clean and we continue to address concerns about taxi drivers illegally plying for hire, racegoers’ behaviour in the evening and night-time economy, particularly women’s safety. As part of that officers are receiving bystander training through Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (GRASAC). We’re also putting in place new deterrents to limit anti-social behaviour and I want to thank council staff and all partners for all the extra efforts they make during race week.’’
Cllr Max Wilkinson, cabinet member economic development, culture, tourism and wellbeing, continued: ""Last year, despite temporary toilets being installed along the main routes to the racecourse I saw men brazenly weeing against a wall near the town centre. They were totally shameless in front of people sat in traffic queues just yards away.
"This year we’ve offered hydrophobic paint to businesses and residents to paint on their properties. I'm sure the prospect of wet trousers will make people think twice, even if they think they won't get caught and fined."
Officers will be proactively visiting and engaging 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. We will continue to work with the police in monitoring the licensed sexual entertainment venues and any venues that provide such entertainment on an occasional basis.
In partnership with Gloucestershire Constabulary, the council is again 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.
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.
“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 Cheltenham Borough Council is once again helping promote the Flare App, which allows for incidents and concerns to be reported anonymously without the need for contacting the police directly.
“I’d like to encourage anyone with serious concerns to report these 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.”
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 2023 Cheltenham Festival.
Racegoers are advised to only use authorised taxi ranks as by law, all vehicles plying for hire at taxi ranks or on the streets in Cheltenham must be licensed by Cheltenham Borough Council.
Tewkesbury Borough Council's licensing team will be supporting Cheltenham Borough Council's licensing team to conduct checks on hire vehicles to ensure that they are safe and are legally licensed. Anyone using a taxi from a taxi rank, or hailing one from the street, should ensure that it is displaying a roof sign and a Cheltenham licence plate. Any vehicle that is found to be operating illegally will face further action.
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
- 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.
For media enquiries, contact: communications, telephone 01242 264 231, email [email protected]
2023 Cheltenham Festival dates: 14 to 17 March 2023.
Number of spectators expected:
- Tuesday – 65K
- Wednesday – 58k
- Thursday - 65k
- Friday – 68.5k
For further information on the festival visit https://www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/cheltenham/events-tickets/the-festival/.
For more about the ‘Flare’ app visit https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/police-forces/gloucestershire-constabulary/areas/gloucestershire/services/flare-app/flare-app/
To find out more about what’s on in Cheltenham, where to stay, shopping, food and drink and much more visit www.visitcheltenham.com or @visitchelt.