SRL celebrates successful traffic and crowd management at Glastonbury Festival


SRL has delivered its biggest integrated event solution to support the traffic management plan at this year’s Glastonbury Festival – the world’s largest greenfield music and performing arts event – facilitating the safe, efficient, and environmentally sustainable management of traffic to and around the Festival, minimising disruption in the surrounding area.

Europe’s largest manufacturer and supplier of mobile ITS (intelligent transport system) solutions to the traffic management and events sectors provided a sophisticated integrated package for the 2023 Somerset festival which attracted in the region of 210,000 visitors between June 21-25. Visitors travelled to the 900-acre event by car, dedicated coaches and buses as well as public transport, primarily via the M5, A39, A361, A37 and A303.

SRL provided Glastonbury Festival Events with an integrated traffic management solution comprising a range of products – VMS, CCTV and ANPR cameras and work-zone protection barriers – in support of its traffic plan.

Glastonbury VMSThe project was the firm’s largest event contract to date in terms of the quantity of equipment supplied. It was also one of its most sophisticated, assisting the careful management of exceptionally high volumes of traffic – including vehicles forming part of the UK’s largest dedicated event coach fleet – across an intricate network of normally quiet minor rural roads. This complexity was reflected in the unprecedented level of planning and human resource involved.

SRL established a project planning team three months prior to the Festival, making preparatory site visits and working in close partnership with the customer to create a bespoke, adaptable solution. The team stayed on site before, during and after the event, working in the control room as part of the wider traffic management operation. There they were able to adapt VMS communications immediately and with precision in response to the rapidly evolving traffic flow, ensuring that the solution operated efficiently throughout for the benefit of organisers, visitors, and other road users.

The SRL team monitored external traffic using data generated by Portable CCTV cameras. The cameras, VMS and security barriers were all solar powered to preclude the need for battery changes, improve reliability and honour the event’s “Leave No Trace” sustainability policy. The team presented evolving, up-to-date driver instructions on 32 Smart Messenger VMS, directing visitors along the best route to the four main entrances and public car parks around the eight-and-a-half mile Festival perimeter.

SRL VMS were also used to encourage drivers to drive at a safe speed through the neighbouring village of Pilton and to advise those arriving at Castle Cary railway station of car park capacity. For the first time in the show’s history, messages could be displayed in white text and full colour where location allowed, maximising visibility and enabling drivers to easily distinguish Festival instructions.

Smart and Portable VMS were deployed before the event to manage traffic during set-up. Five Instaboom solar/hybrid work-zone protection barriers coordinated with ANPR to facilitate controlled access to specific sites.

Within the Festival grounds, Smart Portable Messager VMS were deployed to direct drivers to the 61 car parking fields and camping zones and to instruct them to drive slowly to minimise airborne dust; they also helped guide pedestrians to the different stages and events.

“SRL’s VMS are some of the few on the market that are TOPAS (Traffic Open Products and Specifications) 2516D registered, attesting their full compliance with industry performance requirements for use on public highways, so we had full confidence that they would enable us to keep traffic moving safely on local roads.”
says SRL’s business development director, Iain McDonald.

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About Author


Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).