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Parking plan for Kaboom fireworks event
FALLBACK plans have been agreed for a fireworks event in York which will see its location switched if bad weather strikes.
Heavy rain last November damaged the ground at Rawcliffe Country Park when equipment was brought in for the Kaboom display leading to City of York Council –which owns the site – applying for permission for events to be moved to the neighbouring Park&Ride and overflow car parks if necessary.
A licence for the “contingency” arrangement, which will apply for other events as well as Kaboom if wet weather drenches the ground, has now been approved by the authority ahead of Kaboom being held on November 3. However, despite extra exits being installed at the park after concerns were raised by an emergency planner, local residents Derek Paterson and Keith Isaac claimed there were still “serious health and safety issues”.
They told the hearing the exits were “wrongly sited” and there would be problems if a crowd intended to visit the country park had to gather in the “much smaller” car park area instead. They also claimed Park&Ride services will be disrupted if the car park is used for events, and raised fears about anti-social behaviour and noise problems linked to events.
Charlie Croft, the council’s assistant director of public realm, said the authority had taken the advice of emergency planning expert Ronald Woodham, commissioned at a cost of £2,000, over the improvements needed at the park. Mr Woodham had concluded existing exits were limited, and Mr Croft said: “We have not only acted on his recommendations, we have exceeded them.”
Mark Brayshaw, of Rockin’ Horse Promotions, which is promoting Kaboom, said there would be 500 parking spaces at the country park even if the event had to be moved, while Park&Ride services would provide an alternative to driving to the display. He said there would also be extra parking space at Clifton Moor, with stewards on duty along a snicket leading to the country park and also preventing residents’ parking spaces in nearby streets being used by visitors.
The new licence will mean the car parks can only be used for events instead of the country park’s grassed area, not alongside it.