The Balloon Fiesta is back – and this time there’s a plan to stop traffic gridlock

If all goes to plan it will be the best of both worlds – a spectacular event, with no traffic nightmare attached.

York Balloon Fiesta returns this September. And a new traffic management plan will be put in place, after parts of the city were brought to a standstill last year.

The fiesta attracted about 40,000 visitors in 2018, but caused gridlock in the city centre for drivers and bus passengers.

Today York Balloon Fiesta confirmed it will be returning to Knavesmire on September 27 to 29, with a “better plan” for traffic during the weekend.

Lessons learned

A spokesman for the event said:

  • An event like York Balloon Fiesta takes a huge amount of planning, and work is going on behind the scenes to create an event of which York can be proud, and of course, this involves better traffic management.

    We’ll be announcing more details later this Spring.

The council says it is also looking at “lessons learned” from last the festival last September.

James Gilchrist, assistant director of transport, said the council has had discussions with the organiser, police and Make it York to consider “the lessons learned so the event can be better managed this year”.

The three-day festival was hugely popular, with crowds treated to mass balloon launches each day.

Fifty balloons took part in the fiesta.

There were also dazzling balloon night glow events and a firework display.

The festival also featured a fun fair, birds of prey show, children’s activities and entertainment, along with live music, a beer tent and street food stalls.