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Consider using alternative routes around Rutland Showground as religious festival ends this morning

Drivers are being asked to consider alternative routes around Oakham bypass as Rutland Showground is vacated today (Friday, June 25) after a festival ended.

More than 1,500 travellers have been at the Light and Life event since Saturday. The event finished yesterday and people are due to leave today with the roads expected to be busy.

Rutland County Council leader Oliver Hemsley (Con) said: “As the event at the Showground comes to a close, we are asking people in the community to consider the use of alternative routes, if possible.

Police patrolling near a massive religious festival in Oakham
Police patrolling near a massive religious festival in Oakham

"We expect it to be very busy around the Showground this morning. There will, inevitably, be disruption and we have been working hard with partners to put plans in place to minimise this as much as possible.

“This week has presented several challenges to our county and highlighted some key issues that we need to work together to resolve in the coming months.

"Having attended many meetings about the event at the Showground this week, and had numerous conversations with residents and colleagues, it is clear to me that the main issue is less about the event and the processes surrounding it, but more to do with a few attendees who chose to attend the event and disrespect our county.

Aerial view of the festival at the Rutland Showground
Aerial view of the festival at the Rutland Showground

"While we will be reviewing the issues surrounding the event planning process and the involvement of key agencies at an early stage, it remains the case that this was a legal event. The organisers have provided partners access to the event since its start and, through this, key agencies including fire, police and the council, have been assured that the event complied with recognised event standards.

"Unfortunately, however, there have been some people engaging in crime and anti-social behaviour during the week, which has understandably caused concern in our local community. There are many bridges to be built over the coming weeks and months and the council will be playing a significant part, alongside its partners and the Showground, to achieve this. These conversations are certainly not going to be easy but will be important nonetheless, as events, wherever they are held, are an important part of our community and the county’s identity.”

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