A quick post updating on the situation with the Fair and the Whitesands after our post last week.
We attended a short but very productive meeting on Thursday with two officers from the council and the Fair operator, to discuss a way forward for future fairs.
This year, the fair doesn’t have as many rides as usual, so the Whitesands is actually passable on a bike with care. However, it does mean cyclists weaving in and out of people attending the fair, which with kids running about isn’t that safe and is also a bit annoying for all concerned.
The council have proposed that from next year, a 2m wide path be maintained along the river side of the Whitesands for the full length of the path, and that it be barriered off from the fair set up (using the same barriers that currently run along the road). This will help keep rides from encroaching on the path and also offer a clear through route for those walking and cycling through (the barriers can be opened in places when the fair is running to allow access to all the fun).
This approach will be trialled during the spring fair, and we hope if it is successful it will become the norm for all events making use of the Whitesands. Failing that, we have some ideas for alternative diversions for bikes – but this should mean no diversion at all, which is ideal.
Thanks to Council staff Matthew Crossan and Mike Grunwell of the Council Roads Team for looking into this, and to Climate Champion Dougie Campbell for chasing the issue up.
And now we just need the rain to stop so everyone can enjoy the fun of the fair!