POLICE are putting well-rehearsed plans into action this weekend at the Badminton Horse Trials.
Officers will mainly be focused on ensuring traffic runs smoothly throughout the area as the event takes place between today (May 7) and Sunday, May 11.
Around 140,000 people are expected to descend on the Badminton estate for one of the world’s largest equestrian events.
Avon and Somerset Constabulary said it was not expecting many problems at the trials but would be working to minimise traffic delays, particularly as another large event is taking place nearby on Saturday, May 10.
PC Ian Cousins said uniformed officers would be on patrol to help the organisers of the event make sure visitors arrive safely with minimum disruption to people who live, work and travel in the immediate area.
He said: “Badminton Horse Trials is a very well-planned and problem-free event which has been running for many years.
“There is one key difference this year, which is that a car enthusiast event will be taking place in nearby Castle Coombe on Saturday, May 10 – Badminton’s busiest day. The organisers and other agencies will be working hard to keep traffic flowing and we have plans in place in case of any emergency.”
PC Cousins said a traffic plan included police motorcyclists working with the AA, the Highways Agency, problem ‘spotters’ and the organisers to get thousands of vehicles through the country roads and safely onto the site.
“Anyone travelling to Badminton is asked to check their event documentation beforehand for details of the relevant entrance and routes in to the site,” he said.
“Please avoid Castle Coombe and bear in mind that satellite navigation systems will not take into account the traffic management plan.”
Uniformed officers will also be patrolling the site and Avon and Somerset volunteer police cadets will provide an extra uniformed presence and take the opportunity to offer visitors advice on keeping their horse and tack safe when they get back home. The force’s mounted section will also be at the event.