RESIDENTS are being reminded that this year’s Reading Festival is now underway. Town centre traffic will inevitably be very heavy in the run-up to the event.
Reading Festival runs from Friday August 22, to Sunday August 24 this year. Traffic volume is expected to peak from Wednesday, August 20, through to Friday, August 22, and again with the departure on the Bank Holiday, Monday, August 25.
Reading residents who need to get into town during the build-up to the event are being advised to consider their journey carefully. Where possible, taking the bus, cycling and walking may offer quicker journeys. People who do need to travel are being advised to allow plenty of time for the expected extra demand on the road network.
If any resident has concerns, comments or queries relating to this year’s festival, they can call the Council’s hotline number on 0118 938 0405, which is open from 9am to 5pm on Wednesday, August 20, and then 24 hours a day from 9am on Thursday, August 21, until 3pm on Monday, August 25.
Residents can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org but please note that emails will only be picked up during office hours. Before and after the festival, residents with concerns or queries can call Reading Borough Council on 0118 937 3737.
The majority of visitors to the festival arrive by public transport, especially by rail. Thousands of people will be heading for the site by coach throughout Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. In addition to updates from local media, route information will be displayed on variable message signs along major routes into Reading, advising both on local and festival traffic conditions.
Parking restrictions are in place around the Richfield Avenue site and this area should be avoided during the festival period. Festival car parking is available at Mapledurham and Kings Meadow.
For 2014 the pick up/drop off will be at Hills Meadow Car Park. This will be the dedicated area for drop off/pick up. From here festival goers can either walk to the site or use free shuttle boats.
For festival visitors parking at Mapledurham, a pedestrian bridge has again been constructed into the site to ensure easy access to the festival. For those parking in Kings Meadow a boat service is provided free of charge to help transport everyone, and their belongings, to the festival.
Temporary traffic management will be in operation at the Napier Road/Vastern Road roundabout. It is advisable to avoid this area, in addition to the areas immediately around the site, during Bank Holiday Monday.
A night-time closure of the Thames Path (from 9pm to 6am) will be in operation from Thursday, August 21, to Saturday, August 23, inclusive. The closure will apply between Scours Lane to the far end of Thames Side Promenade. The temporary closure is implemented for security and safety grounds.
Reading Borough Council has again worked with the festival organisers to produce travel information leaflets that have been sent out with tickets with details of bus, rail and park and ride services.
Following the upgrade of Reading Station, the quickest walking route from the Station to the site will be via the new Northern Interchange. Festival visitors will also have the option of travelling to the site via hackney carriages or a festival shuttle bus that will operate from this new northern exit for those that arrive by train.
To help maintain traffic flow, the Council’s parking enforcement officers will be working alongside the police during the weekend to crack down on people who park illegally and cause an obstruction.
Throughout the duration of the festival a temporary taxi rank will be operating in Tessa Road - opposite the Rivermead Leisure Centre next to the Festival site - as a further option when travelling to and from the site. There will be another taxi rank in Loverock Road (close to Wigmore Lane) once the festival has started midday Friday to Monday. There will be a third taxi rank at Thames Prom for those exiting the site on Monday only.
Visitors are being reminded that they should pre-book private hire vehicles rather than hail them from the roadside. All licensed vehicles will display a Reading Borough Council plate on the back and all drivers should have an identity badge in full view.