New Traffic Plan For Game Fair

22 July 2011, 05:00

After traffic chaos at the last CLA Game Fair held in the Thames Valley in 2008 - organisers have told Heart they're much better prepared this year.

The three day event at Blenheim Palace is organised by the Country Land and Business Association and is one of the biggest countryside fairs in the world.

140 thousand people are expected to visit the exhibitions and displays of rural activities - with the event bringing in about 13 million pounds to the local economy.

But three years ago an early morning accident near the Peartree roundabout on the Friday caused three hour long delays and gridlock from Woodstock to Oxford.

Nick Brooks-Ward, Head of Operations, says they've made around 20 changes to their traffic plan for 2011.

                 Hear more from Nick here

As well as two extra carparks to increase capacity, they'll have a helicopter, CCTV and a unmanned spy drone so they can see how traffic is moving. If they see a route is becoming jammed they can use variable message boards to move cars in a different direction.

So if for example the A34 becomes clogged they'll be able to divert traffic through smaller villages in the north.

CLA have also bought the Swinford Toll Bridge for the day to speed up trips.

Traffic will be monitored from a central control room combining staff from the CLA, Thames Valley Police and the Highways Agency, who are using the fair as a rehearsal for traffic management for the London 2012 Olympics.

Mr Brooks-Ward has this advice for people eager to get to the event.

"Please, please, please follow the routes. Don't try and disappear up the villages. We've done a lot of work with the parish councillors and the residents and shown them the routes. And don't turn on satnavs because it won't do any good, we are the ones able to move the traffic".