South Ashford Community Forum (SACF) have responded to an article regarding ParkRun in the Kentish Express on 28 September 2017. The article results from a discussion at the SACF June Meeting, the minutes of which can be viewed here (opens in Google online reader)
SACF recognise that ParkRun is the type of activity for which public parks, including Victoria Park, are suited. We do, however, believe that all users of Victoria Park should respect other users. However, it appears that some ParkRun participants are not giving other users that respect. This is illustrated by the reports we have received from some users and by the comments of some ParkRun supporters on the article on the Kent Online Facebook page and Kent Online website that imply that other Park users should not use the Park while ParkRun is in progress.
It may not be possible for more than 200 runners to use the main foot/cycle paths through the Park at a time when many other people are using them as part of their regular journey from South Ashford and Singleton into the Town Centre without causing some difficulties for both groups.
As a result of Ashford Borough Council’s successful bid for funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund, we are looking forward to the formation of a community group that will provide a practical contribution to the maintenance of the Park, and act as a forum for discussions on how the Park can be developed and used by all parties. We hope that all user groups, including ParkRun, will actively participate in that forum helping to promote understanding between users and make the Park a safer and more enjoyable place for everyone.