Transport solutions comprising of shuttle and timetabled bus services

Also needed accommodate the movement of tents, bags and equipment alongside people.

The challenge

One of the country’s premier jazz festivals takes place at Glynde Place near Brighton in early July and is attended by around 5,000 fans.

First Travel Solutions (FTS) have been contracted to provide transport solutions comprising of shuttle and timetabled bus services between Brighton and Glynde rail stations and the festival site.

Many of the festival goers camp at the site and attend the full weekend festivities meaning that the transport provision had to also accommodate the movement of tents, bags and equipment alongside people.

The solution

Festival organisers had little indication of the numbers likely to use the bus services and so much of the transport plan was developed based on FTS’ experience on other festivals of similar size.

FTS worked with the organisers to integrate advance purchase sales and make informed assumptions, based on customer locations, on how many jazz lovers would likely be travelling by rail and thus then need onward connections to the site.

Some time-specific bus tickets were sold via the Love Supreme website but co-ordinators on the ground had to be flexible enough to accommodate those with pre-purchased travel tickets and the large numbers of walk up customers and respond to rail service delays.

As part of any FTS contract the team recognised it was much more complex than simply providing a set number of buses at a set time. Project leads visited the site in the preceding weeks and devised primary and secondary routes between the town centres and the rural festival ground.

This involved not only understanding the route challenges, such as low-level bridges and the suitability of certain types of vehicles but also the identification of appropriate temporary pick up and drop off points and staging areas for standby buses and coaches.

It also allowed the team to plan and operate queue management systems.

Importantly the team recognised that demand between entering and exiting the site would fluctuate and organisers were keen to ensure all attendees were provided with safe passage after the final act had finished.

The result

As always with an unknown customer base it is a difficult balancing act to deploy the right number of vehicles but through FTS’ expertise, queuing times were minimal, and the right amount of capacity was provided.

FTS also safely co-ordinated the site clearance and met the organisers expectations by completed transport operations by 0100 and no later than 2 hours after the main stage shut down.