Oxford City Council have announced a new crowd management system for May Morning, set to be implemented this year.
A record-breaking 27,000 people descended on the city last year, with large numbers congregating on the High Street and Magdalen Bridge.
To help with manage these large crowds, one-way channels will be put in place along Magdalen Bridge, in order to allow people to move easily during and after the event. There will also be stewards and signs in place, while bicycles will not be allowed to cross the bridge.
The new strategy comes after reports of a ‘crush’ at last year’s May Morning, when a gridlock occurred on Magdalen Bridge as people tried to leave.
According to the Council, this was due to people leaving the bridge towards East Oxford being met by “an unusually high number of people wanting to come into the city from the Plain Roundabout”.
The Council hopes that the one-way channels, as part of the new crowd management system, will ensure that this problem will not happen again.
Paula Redway, Oxford City Council’s cultural development manager, said: “We take crowd safety incredibly seriously and, following last year’s May Morning, the City Council and event partners have been working hard to make sure that the crowd problems are not repeated.
“Magdalen Bridge will look different during this year’s event, with signs, barriers and stewards directing people to keep the crowd flowing on the bridge. We ask that those wishing to attend make themselves aware of the new plans and follow instructions on the day.”
Demand also looks set to be high for other May Day events in Oxford, with special all-night club events at The Bullingdon and O2 Academy selling out months in advance.