Taxi rank and bus turn-around point announced for Tar Barrels event

Ottery St. Mary Tar Barrel night - Ladies' barrels. Picture: Anthony Rowe LRPS.

Ottery St. Mary Tar Barrel night - Ladies' barrels. Picture: Anthony Rowe LRPS. - Credit: ©-Anthony Rowe L.R.P.S

New measures are being put in place for Ottery’s annual Tar Barrels to make it easier for spectators to get into town.

The event’s committee has announced the introduction of a taxi rank and a turn-around point for buses to improve visitors’ arrival to the tradition, taking place this year on Saturday, November 4.

During the evening, Stagecoach buses will be able to drive to Salston Cross through the road closure at Lower Broad Oak Road to turn around and go through West Hill.

Drop-off points will also be in place at Salston Cross and at the Butts Hill junction for taxis only.

Committee chairman Rob Wickham said organisers made the decision following feedback from visitors and the council asking for the buses to drive in closer to town. He added: “We are trying to take the taxis away from the car park, so they do not get stuck as they are just dropping off. We have a pick-up point which they [visitors] can say they want collection from.”

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Mr Wickham also announced at a town council meeting on Monday the road closures for the tradition.

Roads across the town will be shut from 3.45pm.

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Mr Wickham said visitors driving to the event will be encouraged to park in Barrack Road or at Ottery Football Club.

He added: “We’re trying to encourage people to park their cars in the car parks, rather than snarl up all the estates and side roads of the town. We have to minimise the effect of getting any emergency services to those houses, should there be a need.

“There will be taxi drop-off points this year, which there hasn’t been in the past, because again we are trying to alleviate the car parking and make it easier for people to come in and get out because taxis come along, drop people off, and then turn around and cause chaos.

“That should hopefully make it a little bit easier this year for everybody coming to the event.”

Lighting will be in place down Strawberry Lane to make it easier for pedestrians.

Roads will also be closed from 7.30pm for the carnival on Saturday, October 21.

A diversion will also be in place at 3pm at the King’s Cross on Exeter Road to allow procession floats to line up at the Finnimore industrial estate. The road will reopen until 8pm, when a diversion will take vehicles around the back of Strawberry Lane, through Tipton, back to Tip Hill. Mr Wickham said he hoped for the roads to be reopened again at 10pm or earlier.

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