UK Racecourse Bans Picnics After Health And Safety Worries Voiced

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( — March 4, 2015) Las Vegas, NV — The UK Telegraph has published the statement by a major racecourse which draws in more than 20,000 people to events, which has actually prohibited picnics for health and safety factors. Newcastle racecourse stated it was presenting the ban for all its 2015 meetings, apart from one, following a variety of issues at events last year. The venue’s management team stated stopping racegoers from spreading out rugs and eating in chairs would relieve activity around the racecourse and boost visitors’ satisfaction. Racegoers shall instead be provided with a picnic area outside the racecourse, however within the wider estate. Executive director David Williamson stated… “We have actually taken the choice not to enable picnics or picnic furnishings into Newcastle Racecourse for all of our 2015 fixtures, with the exception of The Blaydon Races in August, to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all of our visitors, which is our primary concern.”


At Ladies Day and Plate Day, which frequently attract in excess of 20,000 guests, a number of health and safety concerns were highlighted to the racecourse executive, who has said… “To make sure the enjoyment of all those attending these popular fixtures, and for ease of activity around the racecourse, we have taken the decision not to permit picnics in any enclosure. This is not a choice that has been made without thought, and we hope that this change shall allow us to still offer a pleasurable experience for all of our visitors. In line with the change in policy, more seated locations and additional food outlets will be available in both enclosures for guests to use if they desire, and for those who want to have a picnic before entering the racecourse we will have a designated area within the estate where picnics can be had.”


Routine racegoer Sue Nicholson, from Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, was horrified when she became aware of the policy change. She had actually planned to go to this year’s Ladies Day; a focal point of the North East social calendar when racegoers of both sexes spruce up, in a group of 12 close friends, however she will now cancel the day out. She added… “I especially like getting dressed up, putting on silly shoes and a silly hat and going to Ladies Day. For the last two years I have actually gone with a group of about 12 buddies, and we have a fantastic time. We take picnics and have a lot of fun on the water resistant blanket, but after we learned about the picnic ban, we are not going.”


she added… “The racecourse did not allow racegoers to bring their own alcohol in, so that was not part of the policy change. However racegoers spruced up in their finery may not wish to eat the kind of food provided by concessions. You can take a picnic to Glyndebourne, you can take one to Ascot but you cannot take a picnic to Newcastle Racecourse? Who do they think they are?” Mr Williamson stated picnickers’ furniture created a “possible tripping risk,” and that was the main reason for the ban, and not an attempt to make racegoers spending more in food concessions. He said…


“The choice has been made simply for the convenience and safety of all racegoers. The quantity of people bringing in chairs, rugs, picnic boxes, etc, causes space to be limited for the amount of people going to the race days due to picnickers spreading out. The added furnishings was a possible tripping hazard, and a couple of racegoers have been reported to emergency treatment because of this. People are under no obligation whatsoever to acquire food while in the racecourse grounds. For those who wish to have a picnic blanket lunch before coming into the racecourse, we will have a designated area within the estate where picnics can be had if they so desire.”


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