Monday, March 05, 2007

Carnival coming

We've been involved in a number of meetings about the Birmingham Carnival coming to Perry Barr Park this year, on Sunday August 5th.

The aim, as always, is to minimise the traffic chaos that sadly accompanies this event.

Ray Hassall has been able to put the block on other major community events being held in the park in the first part of the summer holidays - ensuring that the Carnival will be the only weekend that disrupts the neighbourhood.

Two key tasks: to get the procession to start on time. Being late by up to two hours is unfair on many of the dancers who have to dance all the way - and also contributed to most of last time's traffic problems.

It will be forming up in Handsworth Park this year and lorries and generators will be parked overnight. The organisers will be told that the road closures will be lifted if they fail to start - lorries would then have to make their way through ordinary traffic.

Second task is to get more tow trucks in. It is now apparent that only one or two vehicles were towed last time despite massive illegal parking. We're looking at the barriers erected along Thornbridge Avenue to see if they are necessary - as they only block off some roads and this was the one neighbourhood last time where there did not seem to be parking problems. We'll be consulting residents about this.

The third objective is to get cars into car parks. There are always plenty of unused spaces very close to the event. We need better stewarding and the procession to arrive on time!

The Carnival's a great event but every time something goes wrong with the traffic. The "exclusion" zones, which prevent visitors parking on side roads, are proving their worth but can come under big pressure - especially when other arrangements break down.

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