Project – Having worked successfully with Cheltenham BID on the Christmas Lights Switch On 2018, a parade around the town centre, RTS were re-approached for consultation and implementation for the 2019 event with an added twist of not one but three parades all performing simultaneously, starting in 3 different areas of the town centre and converging to a final end point in a highly trafficked area of the town centre.
The 2018 event brought around 4500 visitors to the town centre to witness the event, more than double the amount in 2017. With a free event, it is always difficult to predict how many visitors will turn up so working with all of the stakeholders, including Cheltenham Borough Council, Gloucestershire County Council and the local emergency services within the area was to be key to planning a safe event.
Solution – Having worked in Cheltenham for a number of years on some of the town’s biggest events, including the Cheltenham Half Marathon, our dedicated events team had a great understanding of how traffic flows around the town on a day to day basis and ensuring this was disrupted as little as possible was to be vital in minimising traffic congestion.
Work was also done to evaluate how many people could safely be contained within the event space for the finale, and how people would safely move around the town centre, not only following the three parades to the finale, but people who were going about their daily lives.
With a mixture of lane closures and road closures, with vehicle crossing points at key junctions and diversions around the town centre, RTS planned, implemented and delivered a faultless crowd safety and traffic management plan that created multiple, mobile safe areas whilst keeping traffic disruption to a minimum.
Feedback – It was estimated around 10,000 visitors came to Cheltenham town centre that evening to visit the event, more than double 2018 and around 5x as many as 2017! The work that RTS did in planning for huge crowds and implementing all of the measures in a professional manner meant that everywhere on the three routes were kept safe at all times and information was given to all affected traffic in a helpful way.