AS festival-goers prepare for Reading's biggest event of the year, many will be making arrangements to travel to the town to secure the best camping spaces for the weekend.

All roads in and around Reading will again be busy from this week (August 19) onwards, but congestion is expected to peak from Wednesday, August 21 and Thursday, August 22.

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Traffic will peak again on Bank Holiday Monday (August 26) as crowds depart.

The town will also be busy for the duration of the festival, which runs from Friday, August 23 to Sunday August 25.

The council have advised locals who need to get around town to consider their journey carefully.

Where possible taking the bus, cycling and walking may offer a speedier journey.

People who do need to travel are being advised to allow plenty of time.

Parking restrictions

Parking restrictions will be in place around the Richfield Avenue site as usual and the area should be avoided if possible.

Festival car parking is available at Mapledurham and Kings Meadow for parking pass holders.

Hills Meadow Car Park will be the dedicated area for drop off/pick up.

From here festival goers can either walk to the site, or use the free shuttle boats provided.

For festival visitors parking at Mapledurham, a pedestrian bridge has again been constructed direct to the site to ensure easy access.

For those parking in Kings Meadow, a boat service is provided free of charge to help transport everyone, including tents and belongings, to the festival site.

Traffic management

As usual, temporary traffic management will be in place at various locations around town.

For security and safety, a night-time closure of the Thames Path (9pm - 6am) will again be in operation from Thursday, August 22 to Saturday, August 24 inclusive.

The closure will apply between Scours Lane to the far end of Thames Side Promenade.

There is again a full closure of Richfield Avenue – between its junctions with Cardiff Road and Tessa Road – from 10.30pm to 1am, on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

This closure is to assist a safe exit from the festival site of the 20,000 day ticket holders.

During Bank Holiday Monday, the Napier Road / Vastern Road roundabout will be particularly busy, with temporary traffic management utilised if required.

The northbound closure of Cow Lane is likely to be reinstated between 8am and 3pm to assist with the coach transfers and exit of service vehicles on the festival site, depending on traffic levels in this area.

It is advisable to avoid driving through these areas if possible, in addition to the areas immediately around the site and main event car parks, during Bank Holiday Monday.

Reading Borough Council has again worked with the festival organisers to produce travel information leaflets.

These have been sent out with tickets with details of bus, rail and park and ride services.

Public transport options

The quickest walking route from Reading Station to the site is via the Northern Interchange.

Festival visitors also have the option of travelling to the site via hackney carriages, or a special festival shuttle bus that will operate from the northern exit of the station.

To help maintain traffic flow, the council's parking enforcement officers will as always be working alongside police to crack down on people who park illegally and cause an obstruction.

Throughout the duration of the festival, a temporary taxi rank will be operating in Tessa Road – opposite the Rivermead Leisure Centre next to the festival site – as a further option when travelling to and from the site. There will be a second taxi rank at Thames Prom for those exiting the site on Monday only.

Visitors are being reminded that they should pre-book private hire vehicles and not hail them from the roadside.

All licensed vehicles will display a Reading Borough Council plate on the back and all drivers should have an identity badge in full view.

For private cars, the only pick-up and drop-off is Hills Meadow car park.

Festival goers then have the option of walking along the tow path to the festival site via Christchurch Bridge, the council’s pedestrian and cycle bridge over the Thames, or taking the free boat up to one of the ticket entrance gates.

Rivermead Leisure Centre and its facilities will be closed for normal activities for the three days of the festival.

A special hotline number – 0208 396 7621 – has been set up for local residents’ use who wish to offer comments, or to raise queries during the event.

Residents can also email:

Alternatively people can contact organisers Festival Republic directly on during office hours.