Leicester

East Midlands Airport passengers caught in Download traffic

woman walks along road with luggage Image copyright Liam Chapman
Image caption Taxi driver Liam Chapman said he turned his engine off because he was stuck in stationary traffic

Holidaymakers heading to the airport had to abandon taxis and drag their luggage due to jams caused by festival traffic and road repairs.

Congestion built up on the A453 in Leicestershire, near East Midlands Airport, due to the Download music festival and nearby pothole repairs.

A taxi driver said it took two hours to complete a 20-minute trip.

Highways England and the airport advised people to allow extra time for their journey.

Image copyright Liam Chapman
Image caption Mr Chapman said he saw about 60 people walking along a two-mile stretch of the A453 with suitcases

Taxi driver Liam Chapman, who was heading to the airport to pick up a passenger, said he saw about 60 people walking along the A453 with suitcases.

"It has to be a two-mile walk and a lot of people have big cases," he said.

"People were angry and some lost hope of getting their flight.

"It is worse for the passengers who have driven to the airport because they can't abandon their cars, they have to miss their flight.

"It is usually relatively bad [the Download traffic] but never this bad."

The 35-year-old suggested the dual carriageway should be divided into airport traffic in one lane and festival traffic in the other.

Dean Hughes, of Highways England, said staff and festival organisers were working together to ensure traffic "runs as safely and smoothly as possible".

"We are monitoring traffic flow to ensure festival traffic is directed to the most appropriate route," he said.

He advised festival-goers to follow signs to Download and not the sat nav.

Image copyright Michael Robson
Image caption There were also long queues at the entrance of Download in Donington Park

Festival-goers also reported long queues at the Download entrance at Donington Park.

The music at Download runs from Friday to Sunday, but the campsite and some entertainment opened earlier.

The BBC has contacted Download for a comment on the travel chaos.

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