Busy Kenilworth fireworks hit by parking problems

The fireworks at Kenilworth Castle in 2016. Photo by Steven Barnett

The fireworks at Kenilworth Castle in 2016. Photo by Steven Barnett

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Kenilworth’s fireworks display last weekend attracted around 13,000 visitors but was hit by parking problems, according to some residents.

In the run up to the display held on Saturday November 5, some attendees decided to park on the grass at Castle Green, and traffic backed up along High Street and Castle Hill.

Drivers on Brookside Avenue also experienced long tailbacks with traffic coming to a standstill from the lack of passing points due to the amount of parked cars on both sides of the road.

Fewer roads were closed this year, with only Castle Road being closed to motorists instead of Castle Hill and Clinton Lane which were closed last year.

Kenilworth resident Paul Taylor said although the fireworks were wonderful, it was a ‘traffic management shambles’.

He added: “Why were these roads were not closed to traffic? And why, when the council is happy to dish out parking tickets of an evening in town, were no cars being ticketed for the appalling free-for-all parking in these roads, often on footways and double yellows?”

Colin Mountjoy of Kenilworth Round Table confirmed they were speaking to Warwickshire County Council about the parking issues.

He also thought the high attendance may have been down to dry weather in the days leading up to the display and praised the new park-and-ride service from Coventry.

Colin said: “The park and ride service was reasonably successful, we had roughly 900 passengers each way.

“We delayed the start of the fireworks for about 10 minutes to get everyone in, but we allowed up to 20 minutes for this so I think generally speaking the service worked.

“We are aware of a few issues with inconsiderate parking and we will continue to improve the traffic management of the event. We always advise people to park sensibly.”

Colin confirmed the park and ride service would return next year, although it may be refined to make it more efficient. He also said Round Table are considering trialling a service from Leamington.

PC Caine Pickering of Kenilworth’s Safer Neighbourhood Team said the parking problems were not as bad as last year due to the increased police presence during the evening.

Outside of the perceived parking issues, many people enjoyed the fireworks, and ticket sales raised £30,000 towards the charities that Round Table supports.

On Facebook, attendee Alison Eason said: “Every year after watching the fireworks I feel really lucky to live in Kenilworth.”

The fireworks display had been rated among the top five in the country by tourism company Visit England.