Highways England is ensuring road users that it’s doing its best to make journeys as smooth as possible as tens of thousands of music fans head to V Festival in Staffordshire this weekend (21 to 23 August).
As V Festival marks its 20th anniversary, festival-goers and drivers travelling through the area are advised to be prepared and plan ahead as up to 65,000 people make their way to Weston Park on Friday (21 August), with a further 30,000 expected across Saturday and Sunday.
Frank Bird, Emergency Planning Officer at Highways England, said:
V Festival at Weston Park is now one of the best festivals in the country to access. Last year, the average time from coming off the M54 to being parked up at the site was 15 minutes. At most festivals, it can take 2 to 3 hours.
Months ahead of the festival, we work hard alongside event organisers, the police and other partners, using our expertise in handling traffic to help ensure festival-goers have a trouble free journey to kick off their weekend of fun.
There will be extra Highways England traffic officer patrols and free recovery vehicles on the M6 and M54 near to Weston Park to help minimise disruption, but we also need drivers to play their part in making sure the weekend gets off to the best possible start by checking their vehicles before they set out and planning their routes.
Staffordshire Police Superintendent Elliott Sharrard-Williams, police lead event commander, said:
Drivers should not use a sat-nav or internet route map but follow the event directional signs as there will be some road closures in place. The village of Tong and some local roads (Beighton Lane leading to Blymhill Gate, Old Chester Road and Mill Lane) will be closed to festival traffic but will be staffed by stewards to ensure residents and emergency services have full access.
Signs will direct festival traffic on different routes depending on which direction it is arriving from. Festival-goers arriving from the north, so travelling southbound, should use the M6 junction 12 exit. Traffic travelling from the south along the M6 will not be able to exit at junction 12 of the M6, and should follow signs for the M54, as should traffic travelling from the west.
Drivers are advised that junctions 11 to 12 of the M6 are closed overnight on Thursday until 5.30am on Friday morning.
Live traffic information for the West Midlands can be found on Highways England’s traffic information website and by following @HighwaysWMIDS on Twitter.
Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.