Traffic diversion plans for festival leave councillors concerned, meeting hears

Councillors fear the traffic diversion plans for Boomtown could cause further problems.

Councillors fear the traffic diversion plans for Boomtown could cause further problems.

First published in News Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

PLANS to direct traffic through villages near Winchester for the Boomtown festival have forced parish councillors to consider taking drastic action.

Owslebury parish councillors said they are “extremely concerned” about Boomtown organisers’ plans to direct traffic from the M3 through Twyford, Morestead Road and past Owslebury.

The aim is to ease congestion along the A31 from junction 9.

But parish councillors at a meeting last week said unless Boomtown respond to their worries they will consider taking up the issue with Winchester City Council and may even consider claiming compensation amid fears the 70-plus coaches and 750 camper vans will cause serious problems.

Cllr Paul Phillips said: “We’ve read all the details but it’s quite obvious they haven’t done their job. There’s two black spots along that route that are being used by traffic movement and it’s plain stupidity.

“They have no idea what they’re doing and the more I read the hotter I get.

“What about compensation? It seems a bit dramatic but it’s relevant. We are extremely concerned about this issue.”

Further issues were raised regarding the clarity of the plans with some councillors stating the lack of communication had only caused more confusion.

Cllr Will Martin said: “Nobody has talked to people on the ground. They are just trying to spread the grief around. This whole plan is badly-thought through. They call themselves traffic management experts and any of us could do a better job.”

Cllr Roger Page said: “I think it’s quite dangerous and I would suggest they do a run with a coach to assess the feasibility of what they are trying to do before the actual date of Boomtown.”

Councillors decided to have a direct meeting with their counterparts in Twyford, Boomtown and their traffic management team, CMT.

Chairman John Chapman said: “Everything is so unclear at the moment that we’ve got to give them one more chance to talk to us about what’s going on. I think it’s very important we get them to understand the level of concern here. Let’s get a better understanding about what’s going on and why and then tell them why we don’t think it’s going to work as it is.

“If they don’t listen we’ll take it to Winchester City Council and if they’d don’t help we’ll go down the publicity route. We’ve got some time now before this happens. If we feel totally despondent we can also write to the Police Commissioner.”

A spokeswoman for Boomtown said: “We fully appreciate that the proposed bus routes through Owslebury and Twyford have raised some concerns. These plans have not been finalised and we are working alongside Winchester City Council to take on board the criticism and feedback from the local community to devise a plan that people feel is safe and workable.

“Residents can contact us anytime via our local_community@boomtownfair.co.uk.”

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