'UTTER CHAOS': Organisers of major fireworks display at busy park in Northampton BLASTED over its handling of massive event
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The organisers of a major fireworks display event in Northampton have been BLASTED over ‘traffic chaos’, ‘stopping pensioners getting to church’ and more.
Northampton Town Council has been heavily criticised over the organisation of its Bonfire Night celebrations at The Racecourse on Sunday night (November 5).
Thousands attended the annual ‘Fireworks Spectacular’ which saw celebrations and entertainment from 4pm and fireworks from 6pm.
However, not everyone had a good time.
One resident said: “This year’s fireworks at The Racecourse was utter organised chaos on the roads. Gridlocked is an understatement. There were no car park facilities on the park, which would have eased it. An absolute joke from Northampton Town Council. I hope this gets sorted before next year. Very, very upset.”
An 80-year-old pensioner said she could not walk through the park to get to church in the morning, doubling her journey time.
The pensioner said: “It’s wonderful to have all the events on The Racecourse, but is it right to deny pedestrians the right to cross? I was told Sunday morning that I had to walk all the way around the perimeter. I wanted to get across from Trinity Avenue to Picturedrome to get to Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. This was not on for an 80 year old to double her journey, and then obviously again on the return journey. I don’t think this is the first time that rate payers are obstructed in this location.”
The pensioner is correct, many residents complained of ‘traffic chaos’ following the iconic Balloon Festival which returned to The Racecourse for the first time in 15 years this summer.
Chron reader Jim Smith added: “Shocking. Gridlocked for 25 minutes. We set out from Briar Hill at 5.30pm and arrived at 6.10pm I had to drop my boys off because of sheer volume of traffic. Fireworks were all over by 6.20pm. What a waste of time. Respect, though, the fireworks show was decent.”
Many of the town’s amateur footballers were also left disappointed after the Nene Sunday League cancelled matches at The Racecourse because the organisers had reportedly sectioned off more of the park than agreed. Although it did appear this was not the case, with many pitches appearing to be free and unaffected.
A Northampton Town Council spokeswoman said: “The Northampton Fireworks Spectacular is an annual free display – accessible to many due to its location in the heart of the town – and enjoyed by tens of thousands of people. We are grateful to have received a lot of positive feedback from people who attended this year’s event.
“We appreciate the frustrations of motorists who were held up in traffic queues after the event, however, with no on-site parking available on the Racecourse due to soft ground conditions at this time of year and the urban location of the park, it is difficult to avoid some congestion.
“Along with providing on-site parking for disabled visitors, we always encourage people to walk, take public transport or park a distance away from the Racecourse. We are working with partners to investigate how we can improve parking provision and minimise disruption in the local area for future events.”