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Investigation into Download Music Festival Traffic Chaos

An investigation has been launched following significant traffic disruption around this year’s Download music festival, which left motorists queuing for up to 13 hours.

Before the festival started the roads around Donington Park were gridlocked, with many people affected by traffic as thousands headed to an extended 20 year anniversary event between June 8- 11.

Leicester Time: Investigation into Download Music Festival Traffic Chaos
Picture: Download

Thousands of people were stuck on the M1, A42, A453 and A50 for hours, and some motorists were left queuing for up to 13 hours to get into the venue.

Leicestershire County Council Leader Nick Rushton, called the situation an “absolute disaster” and warned that the festival could be under threat if lessons are not learned from this year’s traffic issues.

“Donington are pretty good operators but they really messed up big time this time,” he said.

“Something’s got to change for next year otherwise I’ll be pressing that the damn thing is cancelled.”

Download bosses apologised at the time for the severe traffic issues and National Highways said it will review the events “to see if any lessons can be learnt.”

Now North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) has launched its own investigation into the disruption to check what went wrong, whether licence conditions were breached and how plans can be changed to make sure the situation does not happen again in future years.

NWLDC is responsible for the licensing of events in its area, including health and safety, noise management and food safety. It works with other organisations, including Leicestershire County Council, to make sure the festival site itself is safe and that disruption to local areas is minimised.

Download Festival organisers, Festival Republic, has confirmed that it will cooperate fully with the investigation and has already made commitments to address the travel plan for festival goers and review its communication with local people.

Councillor Michael Wyatt, Portfolio Holder for Community Services at NWLDC said: “We are proud that Download festival brings thousands of people to our district each year, and work with the festival, the venue and other organisations to make sure disruption is kept to a minimum.

“Anyone who witnessed the traffic troubles this year can see that those plans were not sufficient, so it’s only right for us to investigate whether there are things that can be done to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”