Red tape Pixie Day wrangle for Otttery organisers

RED tape has cast a cloud over the build-up to Ottery s famous Pixie Day celebrations later this month.

RED tape" has cast a cloud over the build-up to Ottery's famous Pixie Day celebrations later this month.

Organisers of the town's flagship summer event this week said they are "desperate" to find a qualified contractor to erect traffic diversion signs in a bid to meet highways bosses' demands that, for the first time, Broad Street must be officially closed when pixies run through the Square.

Richard Coley, tasked with arranging this year's festivities on June 20, is adamant the problem will not ruin the day's fun and the event will go ahead. He is hopeful someone qualified for the job will come forward.

He said: "To meet Devon County Council's rules we have to close the road and diversion signs must go up. Police used to hold up the traffic and we've never had to do this before.

"We are in desperate need of a contractor who is qualified to put the signs up.

"The only guy we know to do it, who also does it for the carnival committee, can't- so we are left a bit stuck.

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"I don't know what will happen if we can't close the road. The event's been running since the early 1950's and there's never been anything approaching an accident. Why they (DCC) have to insist this on red tape I don't know. It means the road will be closed a lot longer than usual before and after the event.

"We have a real problem if we can't have pixies running in the square- but we shall solve this, I'm confident of that- but I don't know how yet."

On the subject of their legislation, a DCC spokesman told the Herald: " The signing contractor must also be accredited to place signs on the highway and must have �5 million public liability insurance.

"Event organisers are required to provide a sign schedule, clearly stating the wording of the signs, where signs are to be positioned, and how they will be placed-on a frame or fixed to street furniture. The sign schedule must be approved by us before any signs are erected on the highway.