RESIDENTS’ fears of traffic chaos when the Wild Life Festival comes to Shoreham appear to have been realised.
Mike Thomas, who sits on the festival’s transport management group, has admitted there will be a major impact on the roads.
Speaking at Adur County Local Committee last Wednesday, the TRO team leader admitted: “To be honest, there will be some fairly major impact for the town. It is going to be challenging.”
On the plus side, he said it was going to be an event that would hopefully grow and grow, and could bring a lot of money to Shoreham.
But for the two days of the festival, June 6 and 7, residents should prepare themselves for busy roads in the town centre.
“I have got to be honest, it will get a bit hairy down Old Shoreham Road,” said Mr Thomas.
I have got to be honest, it will get a bit hairy down Old Shoreham RoadMike Thomas from the festival’s transport management group
“I think the peak time is going to be about 3pm to 5pm for people coming in. High Street is not being promoted as a vehicle route but there will be an impact on the town centre.”
Shuttle buses via the A27 will be the main way for people to access the site, with about 24 running to Worthing and 60 to Brighton.
Mr Thomas said: “There are 35,000 people per day. That is a vast amount of people to come into the area.
“The vast majority will be bussed in and out. There will be a lot of bus movements, with each double decker bus carrying 100 people.”
Parking will be available on Adur Recreation Ground, creating an issue on the A259, near the Brighton Road entrance. It is estimated there will be 800 to 1,000 cars coming in each day, with parking available for 1,600.
The pedestrian route from the railway station is over Norfolk Bridge then up the path alongside Adur Recreation Ground.
Mr Thomas said he had been assured a new footpath would be opened up, so that people were not walking on the edge of the River Adur.
“They are opening up a route especially for the festival, under the railway bridge,” he added.
Asked about camping, he said it was not being promoted but admitted it was ‘a very realistic issue’ and there would be security around Adur Recreation Ground.
Residents will be able to speak to traffic management organisers, SEP Events, at a public consultation next week. The residents’ meeting will be held at Shoreham Academy on Wednesday, 6.30pm to 9pm. The format will be like a parents’ evening.