The park and ride chaos at this year’s Dartmouth Regatta was totally unacceptable and lacked any proper organisation.
We arrived at the leisure centre park and ride site at approximately 2.30pm on Friday. There was no representative there to receive payment, no indication of how much it would cost for a part-day, no indication that there was a second site available down the road. In fact, no information at all. All those arriving were totally confused.
However, that was nothing compared with the return. At approximately 7.00pm we made our way to the park and ride bus stop to witness a queue of thousands, stretching almost half a mile, with a two-hour wait.
We had elderly parents with us and our two-year-old daughter. We were told that the bus company only had two buses on and one had broken down.
Six buses would have been hardly adequate, so two was, quite frankly, a joke.
After almost two hours of waiting we left the queue and managed to catch a service bus.
In summary, the organisers have their priorities 100 per cent wrong. Too much attention on the VIPs and sailing fraternity and not enough on the many people queuing, who spend their money and make the regatta viable financially. These customers should be the first consideration of the organisers and not the last.
Looking at the transportation chaos, it appeared that this was the first regatta event, not the latest of many. Health and safety officials should also look at the dangerous lack of access space to the gents’ public toilets, which was crowded out by too many food stalls. My 86-year-old father-in-law, along with others, was almost crushed by the weight of crowds at that point.
It will be the first and last time we visit the regatta – or should I say the regretta?
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