September 18, 2014
Residents fill heated public meeting on controversial carnival changes

Carnival clubs which create excessive late night noise in residential areas of Burnham-On-Sea face could have points docked by organisers during the run-up to this year's event as part of proposals to appease nearby residents.

More than 40 residents attended a public meeting in Burnham's Ritz Club last night (Wednesday) to air their concerns about controversial changes to this year's carnival.

It comes after first reported here that Highbridge and Burnham Carnival Committee want to line up the carts between Love Lane from the Tesco roundabout to where Stoddens Lane narrows; and Frank Foley Parkway from Tesco roundabout to the Wallace Wells Road roundabout.

The carts will not line up along Queens Drive this year following safety concerns raised by the police, but they will be closer to residential areas as a result.

Since the carts will arrive between 8pm on Saturday November 1st and 2am on the Sunday, residents are concerned about late night noise, access issues and disruption over the carnival weekend.

A number of other concerns were also raised to organisers, pictured right, during Wednesday's meeting, including vehicle access to side roads, parking restrictions, bus route changes, insurance concerns, marshalling of side roads and safety concerns of spectators visiting the carts on the Sunday and Monday.

But organisers vowed that safety would be their top priority. Carnival Chairman Phil New said: "I'm carnival through and through but I won't allow it to go ahead in Burnham this year if we have safety concerns."

Carnival Chief Marshall Paul Archer also addressed a number of the concerns and said a further Carnival Committee meeting is to be held next week after a Safety Advisory Meeting before a formal application for the new road closures is made.

Paul added that the committee "is exploring whether carnival clubs can be docked points if residents complain about excessive noise" in residential areas. The proposal is to be examined further in coming weeks with the county carnival organisation.

Phil New outlined the locations affected in more detail: "In an effort to keep Queens Drive open during the carnival weekend, and to assist with the majority of traffic in Burnham, we plan to use two areas for carnival carts to park. These will be Love Lane and the Frank Foley Parkway."

"To allow carnival cart access and to ensure the carts face the right way along Love Lane we plan to bring them in using Hawley Way and Ramsey way which will likely cause local residents inconvenience on the Saturday night."

"To ensure access is sufficient we will also need to request that no cars are parked on the road along Hawley Way to the Ramsey Way junction and along Ramsey Way for the evening of Saturday 1st November from 8pm until Sunday 2nd November at approximately 2am."

He added: "Should residents need access in or out of the housing estate during these times there may be delays but we will help them as quickly as possible. After the carts have been lined-up and parked, we will of course ensure access is available for local residents."

Organisers are also exploring two options to ensure access is available; a one-way system is the favoured option since traffic lights may cause traffic delays, the meeting was told.


2014 Burnham-On-Sea Carnival Guide


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