During the recent travel chaos on the Isle of Wight, the local commercial radio station had a police officer giving live updates for listeners.
Isle of Wight Radio welcomed the co-operation and have been thanked by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police.
On Thursday and Friday, 56,000 festival goers and many more local residents were caught up in queues of up to eight hours. Schools were forced to close, local residents missed funerals and one family missed their son’s wedding. Isle of Wight Radio switched over to its emergency-planning mode, normally reserved for heavy snow, and provided non-stop coverage, help and support to both residents and visitors caught in the chaos.
Isle of Wight Festival organisers and council officials also provided regular updates and, over the course of the day, the station took over 1,000 telephone calls from listeners along with hundreds of texts and emails.
Inspector Paul Savill from Hampshire Constabulary’s Event Planning Team said: “Keeping the public informed with reliable information is a vital task when the community is faced with challenging circumstances in adverse weather. Isle of Wight Radio provides an exemplary service to the community as a trusted timely source of news. Police would like to thank the radio station for the opportunity to work more closely together in broadcasting accurate advice live to tens of thousands of listeners. This co-operation helped to keep residents and visitors safe and on the move at the end of the Isle of Wight Festival.”
Isle of Wight Radio Listener Caryn March from East Cowes posted on the Isle of Wight Councils Facebook Page: “IOW Radio have been the most active in ensuring us islanders know what is going on, we have known more than the festival goers. Tune in to 102 or 107 to listen or go to their website.”