With just over a week to go until the 2014 V Festival, the Highways Agency is reminding road users to be prepared when travelling to the Midlands’ biggest music festival, which is being staged at Weston Park in Staffordshire from 16 to 17 August.
With around 90,000 people expected to attend the event and more than 22,000 vehicles anticipated to arrive on Friday, the M6 and M54 are likely to be far busier than normal.
The Highways Agency is working in partnership with the event organisers and local authorities to help festival-goers get to the camp site and to keep motorway traffic flowing. Anyone travelling through the area is, however, advised to allow extra time for their journey, or to plan an alternative route or time.
There will be extra Highways Agency traffic officer patrols and extra free recovery vehicles on the M6 and M54 near to Weston Park to clear up any incidents quickly and to help minimise disruption.
To accommodate the additional traffic, the agency will be opening up part of the smart motorway under construction between junctions 10a and 13 of the M6. The southbound carriageway will have additional lanes running between junctions 13 and 12 from 6am on Friday 15 August to 4pm on Sunday 17 August.
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.
On Monday, traffic volumes will again be higher than normal as festival goers leave, with traffic levels expected to return to normal by mid-afternoon on Monday.
Frank Bird, Highway Agency Events Planner for the West Midlands, said:
There will be narrow lanes and a 50mph speed restriction throughout the smart motorway work between junctions 10a and 13 but the fact we are able to open up the hard shoulder on the southbound carriageway means we can improve traffic flow in the area.
With so many vehicles anticipated to arrive, there will be a possibility of delays. Please ensure that your vehicle has sufficient fuel and make sure that you have plenty of drinks, such as water, available in the vehicle to keep you and your passengers hydrated in the case of delays.
As well as additional Highways Agency traffic officers on patrol, staff at the Highways Agency’s West Midlands regional control centre will be monitoring the network via CCTV and other state-of-the-art technology to keep traffic moving.
Live traffic information for the motorways and major A roads in the West Midlands is available on the Highways Agency website, from a free iPhone app and on Twitter @HAtraffic_wmids. Data from the Highways Agency control centres is also used by local and national radio travel reports.
Traffic is also expected to be busy in the same areas on Monday morning as people head home from the festival.
Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways Agency press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.