Harlow Council has decided to close car parks in and around the town park from today (13 January 2021) until further notice.
The council is concerned about the high COVID-19 infection rates in Harlow, with the town currently having some of the highest rates in the country.
The council also has serious concerns about the number of people who are travelling to, parking and meeting up in the town park car parks and within the park itself. This weekend many of the car parks were full to capacity.
Brian Keane, Chief Executive of Harlow Council, said: “Harlow’s COVID-19 cases are at a critical point with enormous pressure being put on our hospital and other NHS services. We do not want to discourage anyone from going outside to exercise. However we need to take steps to ensure that, where we can, we limit the amount of people using the park, driving to the park and potentially meeting up and gathering in the park at this time.
“We want to be clear that residents can continue to go to the Town Park for exercise and it is within walking distance for many people still. Harlow also benefits from having many green open spaces which are within walking distance of people’s doorsteps making parks easily accessible to all. The decision to close the town park car parks will be kept under review.
The council has taken the decision to temporarily shut the following car parks, which it also hopes will deter people from travelling to the park from outside the town:
· Showground Car park
· First Avenue Car Park
· School Lane Car Park
· Altham Grove Car Park (access to garages will remain)
There will however still be disabled spaces made available at the entrance to the Showground and in Spurriers car park. Access for permit holders will remain at Spurriers.