We will sort Open Sunday traffic problems, promise organisers

Park farm 2018 - General grounds

Michael Sly, organiser of Open Farm Weekend at Park Farm, Thorney has promised to revamp traffic management for next year’s event.

Beautiful sunny weather for this year’s event attracted record crowds of 12,500, with 7,500 coming on the Sunday.

“We’re really sorry for the problems caused to people, especially those along Sandpit Road,” said Michael.

“I think the good weather persuaded more people to come and a third of them arrived in the first hour.”

Traffic was backed up through the village, causing many people to remember the old pre-bypass days when Thorney was gridlocked at weekends by traffic heading for the coast.

“We have looked at traffic management and will make some changes for next year,” said Michael. “Instead of entering along Sandpit Road, we’ll bring them in through Old Knarr Fen Road. This will mean non-village traffic can come along the bypass, come off at the New Cut roundabout and they won’t touch the village itself.

“We’ll use Sandpit Road as the exit, but people tend to leave in a steady stream, rather than all at once, so traffic will be more spread out. We’ll also have more stewards in the car park to help people park more quickly.

“I want to thank everyone for their positive messages and especially the police, Newborough Young Farmers and our stewards who worked really hard.”

The Park Farm weekend is now the largest Open Farm event in the country. The scheme, run by the National Farmers’ Union, aims to help educate people about how our food is grown.

Michael says he wanted to create a family day out that would leave happy memories and present a positive view of rural Britain. As well as a showcase for farming old and new, the event is also a massive charity fundraiser.

Lots of charities have stalls at the event and this year at least £8,000 was raised. Peterborough farm Machinery Preservation Society raised £3,000, Air Ambulance £1,297, Leaf £1,141, King’s School £1,000, Sue Ryder £500. Thorney Colts £383, Something for the Solomons £277 and Thorney Youth Project £201.

Next year’s event will be on June 8 and 9.

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