A traffic expert has raised a catalogue of concerns for next year’s T in the Park music festival after analysing the road network surrounding the festival’s new site in Perthshire.
Andrew Carrie, who is a fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and also the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, said he found “inconsistencies” in the information provided on traffic matters relating to the location at Strathallan Castle.
His concerns follow on from the recent discovery of asbestos at the proposed festival site.
Traffic levels are also among the concerns of a local couple who have launched a legal challenge to the plan to move the festival to Strathallan.
DF Concerts, the organisers of T in the Park, rejected Mr Carrie’s claims, saying they were working on a traffic management plan for the event.
The Courier can reveal that Mr Carrie who has attended more than 200 public local inquiries and hearings as an expert witness said in his report there is no “agreed traffic management plan” or construction plan in place for next year’s T in the Park.
The traffic expert claimed that the roads surrounding the site “are not suitable” for “intensive” bus use and he cast doubt on how the rural road network would cope with the number of large lorries required for T in the Park.
“It is difficult to see how lorries of that size could manoeuvre around the adjacent road network without substantial road widening or corner improvements, outside the existing highway boundary,” he said in his report.
“It is noted that there are a number of road bridges over the River Earn and its tributaries. These are narrow, and many of them are of a historic humped design, which may not be suitable for wide loads or low-loaders.
“Given the long-standing concerns over road safety on this part of the A9, and the ongoing study to consider and implement solutions, it would appear unlikely that the trunk road authority (Transport Scotland) would accept any increased road safety risk, even on a temporary basis.”
A Transport Scotland spokeswoman said it would be for Perth and Kinross Council to decide if the agency should be consulted on an application of this type and they have yet to receive any notification.
“In these types of cases, we request that a traffic management plan is produced so that we can assess if mitigation measures are required to ensure that there are no adverse impacts to the safety and efficiency of the trunk road network,” she said.
A spokesman for Perth and Kinross Council added: “The event will need a public entertainment licence, and as part of this there will be a transport working group, which develops plans to ensure patrons get in to the site safely and effectively, whilst minimising the inconvenience to local residents and businesses.”
A spokesman for DF Concerts said: “We have a highly experienced traffic management team that designs plans for major events all over the UK. One of the key deciding factors on choosing a new venue was ensuring that it had a workable traffic route to ensure ease of travel for both festival goers and the local community.
“It is too early to give a detailed outline of the full traffic management plan this has to go through consultation with the council, other partners and, of course, the local community. But do rest assured that these consultations are taking place and full details will be released thereafter.
”We know that the first traffic management consultant approached to write this report turned it down because his opinion – like that of our very experienced traffic management experts – was that traffic would work very well. This was obviously not the desired response.”