THE Isle of Wight Festival's traffic management plan will not be released to the public, despite concerns about traffic chaos at this year's event.
A request to view the festival's Event Safety and Operational Plan (ESOP), submitted by the County Press under the Freedom of Information Act, has today (Friday) been refused by the Isle of Wight Council.
Following consultation with festival organiser Solo, the council has decided the information contained in the ESOP is exempt from the act because it is commercially sensitive, and to release it would constitute a breach of confidentiality.
A letter issued to the County Press said: "Confidential information may be disclosed where there is an overriding interest in doing so. We note you make reference to the public interest in having access to the information and we acknowledge there is public interest in disclosure.
"The council has considered the public interest test, having had regard to the wider public interest in preserving confidentiality and the impact the disclosure would have on third parties.
"We are of the opinion that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in providing the information."
Furthermore, information contained in the ESOP relating to emergency procedures could jeopardise the security of the event if it were made public, according to the council, and some personal information — including contact details of named individuals — was also exempt.
As reported extensively by the County Press, the opening days of this year's Isle of Wight Festival were blighted by traffic chaos, sparking calls for the traffic management plant to be published so people could examine the contingency plans in place for adverse weather.
Children were stuck on school buses for hours, residents were unable to attend hospital appointments and one family missed a funeral.
The queues built up to such an extent ferries could not dock and revellers stuck in muddy festival car parks were towed free by tractors.