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Travel chaos, mud and delays hit early Glastonbury arrivals

Published 22/06/2016

Travel chaos and delays have hit revellers arriving for the first day of the Glastonbury Festival.

Worthy Farm has been mired in mud, forcing organisers earlier in the day to plead with festival-goers who had not yet started their journey to the Somerset site to "stay put".

Avon and Somerset Police said on Wednesday evening that they were working on a "new plan to get traffic moving".

Visitors to Worthy Farm have been greeted by deep mud, but music fans have put on their wellies and braved the conditions to celebrate reaching the festival site.

Relaxing at the Beat Hotel bar, Claire Parsons said she had been surprised by the traffic as she travelled from Kent.

She said: "We've always come on a Wednesday and it's never been an issue before. Never known so many people arrive on a Wednesday, normally it's very quiet and there's a build up, but it's almost like it's going full force already."

Outside the gates, travellers are still complaining of traffic jams and long queues.

Cenk Felton of the AA Patrol said there had been a lot of issues with people getting stuck in mud and engines overheating in the traffic.

He said: "Compared to last year - we only had a couple of days of rain, and it didn't really come to much. This year, yesterday was blue sky and sunshine, but it rained quite heavily through the night.

"A lot of the cars stuck in traffic have been starting to overheat."

Although many of the camp sites are already almost at capacity, advice to put off travelling deterred some visitors.

Neil Johnson, 41, from London was one of those who postponed their journey following advice from the organisers.

He said: "I was meant to get a train this afternoon but I saw everyone tweeting about the traffic and I thought, what the hell, I'm not going down now.

"I don't want to arrive in the dark with all that mud. I've decided to wait until tomorrow morning instead."

A festival tribute to MP Jo Cox, on what would have been her 42nd birthday, has been moved back a day.

Festival organiser Emily Eavis tweeted: " Our tribute to Jo Cox in The Park will now be at 4pm tomorrow, Thursday. Look forward to seeing you there."

After darkness fell, festival-goers paused to watch as fireworks lit up the night sky, welcoming those who successfully made it to the festival site.

With Thursday's referendum looming, many visitors have already voted by post - or arranged a proxy vote. Those who did not apply in time will not be able to vote as there is no polling station on site.

Organisers Michael and Emily Eavis have encouraged people to make sure they do not miss out on a say in the European Union referendum.

Matt Pearce, who owns a scaffolding company in nearby Bristol, has been working at the site since Monday and said the traffic had put him off returning home to vote.

He said: "I'm a bit gutted but with all the traffic, I thought getting back out and getting back in would be too difficult.

"I'd vote out. I'm Team Boris. We don't seem to be working as we are so we might as well try out of the EU."

His friend Jess Brady had managed to get her postal vote in but Stephanie Burnett admitted she had missed the deadline.

Jill Ayles from Yorkshire said she had sent her postal vote before setting off.

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