The chief executive of the Royal Parks, representatives of event managers PWR and its parent IMG, and community representatives from around the park (including me) met this Friday to work through the plans for Winter Wonderland this year.
All main thoroughfares will remain open to park users; no-one will be allowed to leave the venue with a drink; there will be a permanent steward at Hyde Park Corner tube station and departing crowds will be directed towards Brook Street and Bond Street tube to ease the pressure on the park’s south-east corner.
There will be monitoring of sound levels once again and although the footprint of the event has moved north in order to keep Serpentine Road open, the noisy rides will remain where they were. Extra stewarding, rubbish removal staff and more CCTV are in the plan this year. As ever, all restoration of the parade ground turf is paid for by the event organisers.
The event is a money spinner for the Parks which they certainly need as their grant falls. Let’s hope the new arrangements will keep it safe and enjoyable for all – including the Park bats and owls, who are predicted to experience less disturbance from the new layout….