A ‘ROBUST’ plan to manage traffic at this year’s balloon fiesta has been unveiled - as the event gets set to return in September.

Last year the festival was blamed for bringing York to a standstill and organisers had said the event may not return due to the traffic woes.

But the festival has announced that this year there will be road closures, a dedicated Park&Ride service, a shuttle service from the train station and pre-booked parking spaces to ease congestion.

The event takes place at Knavesmire on September 27 to 29, with new organisers Events and Attractions Limited taking over this year,

Owner of the company John Lowery said: “We have been working with [parking and traffic management company] SEP and the City of York highways team to put in place a robust traffic management plan for the event, and will continue to work with all parties going forward.

“As new organisers of this event we want to ensure previous traffic issues are not repeated.

“This will include road closures, one way systems and no parking areas that will be published in advance and available on our website and social media.”

York Balloon Fiesta will remain free admission and is set to feature a fireworks show, night glow event, live music and entertainment.

It will also have the world’s largest inflatable assault course and a fairground with rides never before seen in York.

In response to visitors’ suggestions at last year’s festival, a wider range of food will be on offer and there will be better facilities to cope with large crowds - in 2018 the event attracted 40,000 visitors.

Mr Lowery added: “We’re investing a significant amount in both entertainment for the public and infrastructure and management to accommodate the crowds and traffic, and working in partnership with bodies across the city to tap into wider expertise of hosting events on this scale.”

The Park&Ride from Askham Bar can be booked for £5 per car for up to five people, while parking at the site will be £7.50 per day or £10 on the gate.

The shuttle from the station will cost £3 return.

For more information about the festival visit yorkballoonfiesta.com.