‘Perfect Storm’ of conditions led to traffic problems at JLS Concert

City Council safety officials have completed their review of the traffic problems experienced at the JLS pop concert at Matterley Bowl on 17 June 2011. The review was conducted with the event organiser and land owner by officers from the City Council’s Safety Advisory Group including the Police and Hampshire County Council Highways.

Their conclusion is that a number of key circumstances led to the problems including severe weather, road accidents on the motorway network, additional traffic from the early finish of the Test Match at the Rose Bowl and the arrival of the audience over a short period which event organisers had not experienced at other similar events.

Commenting on the conclusions of the review Robert Heathcock, Assistant Director (High Quality Environment) said,

“The event organisers co-operated fully with all of the agencies prior to and during the event and the actual event passed off safely.  However, the traffic management plan did not cope with the problems experienced and changes will have to be made for future events.  

“The use of an access gate off the A272 instead of the A31 was chosen because of the young age profile of the audience in order to avoid long walks to the concert area.  However the weather conditions together with the other factors turned what was meant as a helpful measure into a major problem.

“As a result the land owner has appointed a national expert who advises on major events such as Glastonbury and the Reading Festival to ensure future plans are able to cope with different conditions and a variety of types of events.  The assessment will include a detailed look at the suitability of the A272 as a route in future.”