COLLAPSE OF a temporary park and ride scheme this week forced organisers to scrap next weekend's 2001 Love Parade dance music festival in Newcastle Police feared that without the park and ride a huge influx of traffic, combined with an expected 250,000 revellers, would have caused gridlock in the city centre.
A quarter of a million revellers were expected to attend the free Radio 1 organised event.
The City Council had earmarked 11 out-of -town sites for the park and ride scheme, but three site owners pulled out at the last minute. The scheme was intended to accommodate 150,000 people travelling in 50,000 cars.
Foot and mouth restrictions hampered efforts to find replacements on local farm land.
'With the benefit of hindsight better contingency plans certainly need to be in place for events such as this', said Newcastle City Council head of planning and transportation, John Miller.
The council claimed it could have found alternative sites, but it was unable to identify them before the Radio 1 imposed deadline of 6pm Saturday. Newcastle City Council's safety committee was unable to award the event a safety certificate without police approval and this could not be given until the new sites were confirmed.
Local police feared a repeat of last year's Love Parade in Leeds, where they struggled to cope with public safety as inadequate transport facilities forced people to walk into the city along the M62 due to insufficient available transportation.