SKATERS have been warned they are still banned from using an Earley skatepark, despite the council removing cordons.

Police have been forced to up patrols at Sol Joel Skate Park, Church Road, Earley, to ensure skateboarders and BMX-cyclists are staying off the site and adhering to government lockdown rules.

According to the council, skateparks were not included in the list of facilities now reopened to the public, therefore they have decided it should remain closed.

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A spokesman for Earley Town Council said: "The latest government advice relating to the easing of Covid-19 restrictions did not include skate parks in the list of activities/facilities that could now be used by the public.

"Since the beginning of the lockdown the Town Council has had signs in place around the skate park instructing the public that the equipment is closed and should not be used.

"In addition we were taping the equipment off on a very regular basis. Experience shows that temporary fencing around a facility such as a skate park is not effective.

"Unfortunately, members of the public were choosing to remove the tape when they wanted to use the skate park and, as fast as we were replacing it they were taking it down.

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Matt Grimes, a frequent user of Sol Joel skate park, said he doesn't agree with the closure.

He added: "In my opinion, it doesn’t really make sense for the skatepark to remain closed but to leave the rest of the facilities, such as the field, open.

"With a lot of us being over 18, we understand the rules for social distancing whereas younger people might not - this is the only issue I can see.

"When we go there we follow the rules to the best of our ability, and I believe the police coming to disrupt a non-illegal activity is a waste of time and resources for the force.

"Being kicked off the skatepark also means we will just go to ride elsewhere and this doesn’t seem to bother the police, when we tell them so."

As a result of the recent easing of lockdown measures, the council spokesman said: "The Town Council has been working, and continues to work, very closely with the Neighbourhood Police Team on managing the situation at Sol Joel park.

"It was recently agreed that we would no longer replace the tape but would erect additional signage and the police would increase their daily patrols of the site, engaging with those on the skatepark, educating them on the

current restrictions and dispersing gatherings in accordance with their powers."