Some roads will be closed – so neighbours will need an escort to get home

March 01 2019
Ashton Gate stadium allowed to hold 34,000 people for summer gigs

SOME of Ashton Gate Stadium’s closest neighbours will get a personal escort to and from their houses during this summer’s biggest gigs.

SOME of Ashton Gate Stadium’s closest neighbours will get a personal escort to and from their houses during this summer’s biggest gigs.
The stadium is planning five large-scale concerts over May and June, including Take That, Muse and the Spice Girls, and has been granted permission for maximum crowds of 34,000.
Residents already experience parking issues during sports matches, so are naturally worried about what will happen when tens of thousands of music fans descend on the home of Bristol City Football Club.
But those living in a planned “no entry zone” affecting Ashton Road and Ashton Terrace will get an “unofficial parking permit”, the club revealed.
A steward will meet them at either end of the road closure and escort them by foot as they drive slowly to and from their homes.
Dave Storr, head of safety and security at Ashton Gate, said he met with residents in the planned “no entry zone” before the club applied for extra crowd capacity in December.
He said they were concerned about getting to and from work when the roads were closed, so the club decided on the “unofficial parking permit” scheme.
“So we’ll not only have the traffic management guides at either end but we’re also allocating stewards at either end of that road closure so that we can get them to and from their parking areas outside their own houses,” he said.
“And that’ll be at walking pace with a steward.”
Mr Storr explained the scheme to Bristol City Council’s licensing committee before it permitted the extra capacity on Thursday, February 21.
The committee had been waiting to hear more details about a traffic management plan before agreeing to increase the maximum capacity for concerts from 30,000 to 34,000, including staff.
Mr Storr assured the committee that the club intended to meet with residents at least once more before the first of the big concerts, Rod Stewart on May 22.
Meetings would also be held after the Take That, Muse and Spice Girl gigs to find out what had gone well and what hadn’t, he said.
The committee also heard there were a table-top exercise planned for March to consider what traffic problems might arise and how to deal with them.
The club has a comprehensive traffic management plan which, it says, will continue to be developed and refined over the coming months.
The plan includes road closures, intercity buses for people living outside Bristol, shuttle buses to and from city park and rides and railway stations, official off-site parking at places such as Cribbs Causeway, and unofficial parking at privately operated car parks across the city.
Chair of the council’s safety advisory group, senior environmental health officer Heather Clarke, said she was “reassured” by the plan.
Ewen Macgregor, solicitor for Ashton Gate, told the committee: “The club, or Ashton Gate Ltd, are micromanaging this in a way you would absolutely expect. Every detail is being thought of and incorporated and being reacted to.
“And that is why the club feel confident that they can run an event with a capacity of 34,000.”
Ashton Gate also sought and gained permission to hold boxing and wrestling events in the Lansdown Suite yesterday.
Mr Macgregor said the overall application, including the request for the Lansdown Suite, had the support of the Bristol Hoteliers Association.
There were no objections from police.
No members of the public made representations to the licensing committee and none were present at the meeting.