MUSIC fans will be heading to Leicester this weekend to enjoy two days of live music in Victoria Park, as the city hosts this year’s BBC Radio 2 In The Park.
The prestigious event, organised by the BBC, will attract around 35,000 visitors each day – and while it’s a huge boost for the city, it does mean that Leicester’s roads and car parks will be busier than normal on Saturday 16 September and Sunday 17 September.
With around 3,000 parking spaces at dedicated ‘Park & Walk’ sites already pre-booked by ticket-holders, event organisers expect a further 4,000 cars to be heading for the city this weekend.
Leicester City Council’s highways network asset manager Rupert Bedder said: “The BBC has developed a travel plan for the event, with ticket-holders encouraged to travel to Victoria Park as sustainably as possible, and with measures in place to mitigate the impact of the event on local people.
“Residents’ parking schemes in Clarendon Park, for example, have been extended to cover the entire weekend, with temporary schemes introduced in streets off London Road and in Stoneygate to prevent unauthorised parking in the areas closest to Victoria Park.
“The event organisers have also set up dedicated ‘Park & Walk’ sites, which will divert more than 3,000 cars to areas away from the city centre.
“With more than 9,000 spaces available in our main city centre car parks, there’s plenty of capacity for the extra cars we’re expecting, but clearly demand for spaces will be higher than normal.
“If you’re coming into Leicester city centre this weekend to shop, or to enjoy a day out, bear in mind that your usual car park may be busier than normal, so please be prepared to park elsewhere and allow extra time for your journey.
“Look out for the real-time parking information that’s displayed on the approach roads to the city centre, which will help you find an available space.
“And if you want a quick and easy journey into Leicester on Saturday, why not use one of the city’s Park & Ride services?”
Green, clean, electric buses leave the Enderby, Meynell’s Gorse and Birstall Park & Ride sites every 15 minutes from 7am on Monday to Saturday. Parking is free and a return ticket for everyone in the car (up to five people) is just £4, with the last buses leaving the city centre at 7pm on Saturday.
While Park & Ride services don’t run on Sundays, regular bus services provide cost-effective – and sustainable – travel options to the city centre. The multi-operator Family Flexi Day ticket, for example, costs just £10 and allows two adults and up to three children travelling together to have a day’s unlimited travel within the Leicester Flexi Zone.
Once in the city centre, shoppers and visitors will be able to make use of Hop! – Leicester’s free electric bus service, which loops the city centre and serves both the Haymarket bus station and Leicester railway station.
Hop! will be running an extended service during BBC Radio 2 In The Park, with buses running every 10 minutes until 10.30pm (last departure from Haymarket bus station) on Saturday 16 September, and with a special Sunday service operating from 10am until 10.30pm on Sunday 17 September only.
A temporary Hop! bus stop will be placed on Tigers Way, just before the junction of Lancaster Road, for passengers travelling to and from the BBC Radio 2 In The Park event.
Deputy city mayor for climate, economy & culture Cllr Adam Clarke said: “The BBC has used an experienced traffic management company, that’s delivered many successful travel plans for major events in the city and across the country before, to help them understand how people will be travelling to this weekend’s events.
“Based on their analysis of people’s travel plans, the organisers have assured us that the measures they’ve put in place will meet the demands of festival goers, while also ensuring that the rest of the city will be open for business across this exciting weekend.
“With around 57% of ticket-holders living locally, I’d like to encourage them to choose green travel when planning their journey to Victoria Park.
“Hop on one of Leicester’s green, clean electric buses, enjoy the city’s walking and cycling routes, and make use of the free bike parks that will be provided at the event.
“Let’s make sure that BBC Radio 2 In The Park is not only a sensational event for the city, but that it’s also a sustainable one.”
More details about travelling sustainably in Leicester can be found on the Choose How You Move website – a one-stop shop that provides information about walking, cycling and public transport in Leicester, as well as a handy journey planner.
Travel information for those with tickets for BBC Radio 2 In The Park is available here
BBC Radio 2 In The Park runs from 10.30am until around 10pm on Saturday 16 September and until around 9.30pm on Sunday 17 September.
More than half of all tickets (57%) sold across both days of the event have been bought by people with an LE postcode.
To facilitate the event, a number of road closures will be in place over the weekend.
• Regent Road (between Granville Road and Salisbury Road) will be closed from 6am on Saturday 16 September until 11.59pm on Sunday 17 September.
• Regent Road (between Tigers Way and University Road) will be one way only eastbound from 6am on Saturday 16 September until 11.59pm on Sunday 17 September.
• Granville Road will be closed from 6am on Saturday 16 September until 11.59pm on Sunday 17 September.
• London Road (between Mayfield Road and Waterloo Way) will be closed from 9pm until midnight on both Saturday 16 September and Sunday 17 September.
• Victoria Park Road (between St Marys Road and St Leonards Road) will be closed from 9pm until midnight on both Saturday 16 September and Sunday 17 September.
• University Road will be one way only southbound from 6am on Saturday 16 September until 11.59pm on Sunday 17 September.
Picture caption: Leicester’s free electric bus service, Hop!, will be running extended services on Saturday and Sunday this weekend (16-17 September).