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Car park mix-up spoiled big day

PUBLISHED: 00:00 15 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:05 03 March 2010

ORGANISERS of Felixstowe's golden jubilee festival have apologised to people who got stranded by the park and ride arrangements operating on the big day.

ORGANISERS of Felixstowe's golden jubilee festival have apologised to people who got stranded by the park and ride arrangements operating on the big day.

There have been complaints from a handful of people of having to wait for buses to take them back to the cars when they wanted to leave the seafront and go home.

Carrie O'Brien, of Bennett Road, Ipswich, parked at the park and ride site at Anzani House in Trinity Avenue, where people were being charged £3 all day.

"We then got on the bus provided to go to Felixstowe. Around 5pm, we decided to go back to pick the car up and go home," she said.

"After waiting for an hour for the transport back to the car, we found out from other people, also waiting for the bus, that some of them had been waiting for transport for an hour and a half!

"The only way we could get back to our car was to get a taxi, which cost us £6.60! There were a lot of people still waiting when we left.

"We were later told that there was only one bus driver on this route, and he had gone for a 90-minute break! What a pity this was not organised better so that there was a relief for the driver when he had his break."

Co-ordinator of the BBC Music Live event, Les Arbon said there had been a number of teething troubles with the event and these were lessons to be learned for future years.

"This was a major event which required an enormous amount of planning and there were always going to be a few things which didn't go quite according to plan and we must learn from that," he said.

"I have been made aware of the park and ride problems. This was the first time we have ever had park and ride at Felixstowe, and on the whole it worked really well and we are very pleased that so many made use of it.

"Centres were more than three quarters full and it prevented a lot of traffic chaos in the town and on the seafront.

"There were a few problems and some waits at time and we are sorry about that, but next time we will know the problems and they will be dealt with in advance."

Around 5,000 park and ride and extra parking places were provided for the 35,000-plus who turned up for the event, including sites in the port area and the Trimley Sports and Social club field.

The festival, which featured an 11-hour extravaganza of music and other entertainment with the seafront turned into a "musical mile", has been hailed as a massive success.

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