Gearing up for the Glastonbury Festival

One of the world’s biggest music festivals comes to Somerset next week – and Somerset County Council will be doing its bit to help keep the county moving.

The Glastonbury Festival starts next Wednesday and sees around 200,000 music fans and thousands of cars descend on the very rural area around Pilton.

Roads will be far busier than usual and it takes time to get everyone onto the site – so anyone travelling in the area is advised to allow extra time for their journeys.

Somerset County Council has staff working at the festival and will be keeping people updated on the latest travel conditions all week via the @TravelSomerset Twitter account and www.travelsomerset.co.uk website.

During Glastonbury week, the Council works closely with the festival organisers and police to manage traffic with a number of temporary measures in place to keep vehicles moving. There is also an embargo on roadworks meaning all non-emergency works are suspended and roads kept clear.

The council’s Somerset Road Safety team also offers the following advice:

  • Make sure your vehicle is safe to drive by doing a FLOWERS check:

F (Fuel): Make sure you have enough for your journey

L (Lights): Clean all the lights and ensure they are working properly

O (Oil): Check the oil level and top up if needed

W (Water): Check the coolant level and top up the windscreen washer fluid

E (Electrics): Make sure your battery is in good working order

R (Rubber): Check tyre pressure and tread depths

S (Self): Ask yourself: ‘Am I fit to drive?’ If you are sharing the driving, is everyone insured?

  • Pack your vehicle safely: heavy items packed low, loose items stowed securely, luggage not piled higher than the seat backs or blocking the seatbelts. Remember that your car will handle differently when fully laden, and your braking distances will increase.
  • Plan your journey: Don’t leave it until the last minute; check the route, live travel information at travelsomerset.co.uk and programme your sat-nav before setting off – but remember, your sat-nav will not get you all the way to the festival site. Please follow the signs as soon as you see these.
  • Always follow the advice and information given by police officers and security staff on the ground. You might be directed in what seems like the wrong direction, but there is a detailed traffic plan in place to help keep people moving.
  • Carry plenty of supplies: There is likely to be a significant increase to journey times so carry plenty of water and snacks.
  • If your trip is going to be a long one plan plenty of rest breaks into your journey; we recommend a 20 minute break for every two hours driving.
  • Planning your journey home is just as important. When leaving the festival you are highly likely to be directed in a different direction to that which you initially came from. There will be a number of closures in place to help traffic leaving the site. Please do not U turn close to the site as experience has shown that those using the signed routes get home far quicker by travelling a few miles extra.
  • Get some sleep: You’re likely to be fatigued after several late nights and tired drivers make mistakes, so get some rest before starting your journey and remember to take rest breaks during the trip home;
  • Drink/drugs: There are severe penalties for those caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and many don’t realise just how long they can remain over the legal limit. If you’re the one driving home, remember that you need to be sober and legal to drive. Don’t put your life or the lives of others at risk.

Cllr John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “We’re proud to have the world famous Glastonbury Festival on our doorstep and work hard throughout the year to assist the festival organisers.

“We’ll be doing our bit next week to help keep the county moving, but please do keep a close eye on Travel Somerset and plan your journeys carefully, particularly on Wednesday.

“If you’re lucky enough to have a ticket, please heed the safety advice and, most importantly, have a great time.”

More road safety advice can be found on the Somerset Road Safety website: www.somersetroadsafety.org, or follow the team on on Facebook www.facebook.com/somersetroadsafety, Twitter www.twitter.com/SCC_RoadSafety, or Instagram www.instagram.com/somersetroadsafety.

Stay up to date with the latest on the roads by following @TravelSomerset on Twitter or check www.travelsomerset.co.uk.