PLANS are in place for this year’s Bestival to avoid a repeat of the travel chaos that marred the Isle of Wight Festival.
Isle of Wight Council managers and organisers say they have put extra measures in place to ensure revellers can get to and from Robin Hill Country Park easily for this weekend’s music event.
Steps including extra entrances to the site, finding private car parks off the site in case vehicles need to be moved in the event of extreme weather, and ensuring traffic to and from Portsmouth and Southampton travels on separate routes are just some of the new measures to ease traffic flow.
The traffic management plans have been put in place in a bid to avoid a repeat of dramatic scenes at the Isle of Wight Festival near Newport in June.
Hundreds of people were stranded in their cars overnight – some on ferries – after bad weather sent the site spiralling into chaos because people could not get on to park.
Stuart Love, the council’s director of economy and environment, said: ‘There has been quite a lot of effort made by both the event organisers and the council to separate out traffic coming through Southampton and Portsmouth so it doesn’t all end up on one road, which in the past has always been a pinch point.
‘There are also more entrances to Bestival car parks. There are separate entrances for crew and artists.
‘The Bestival organisers in the aftermath of the Isle of Wight Festival immediately realised they needed to do something to ensure there wasn’t a repeat.
‘They have also laid down a significant amount of aluminium in the car parks which extends a long way.
‘Even if we had a wet Bestival they would still be able to get a lot of cars off.
‘We have, with the festival organisers, identified some car parks that are privately owned car parks off-site that are basically there as back-up.’
Mr Love hailed Hampshire police and Portsmouth City Council for their efforts to help during the Isle of Wight Festival.
He added: ‘When we had all the problems with the Isle of Wight Festival the police and Portsmouth City Council were absolutely brilliant because of the knock-on impact in Portsmouth and the way that was managed. They were excellent.
‘They just got on with it, without anybody having to ask anyone to do anything.’