Guide to Ottery’s hotly-anticipated Tar Barrels – times, parking, road closures and transport

Thousands of people are set to descend on Ottery St Mary for its famous November 5 flaming Tar Barrels. 

The hotly-anticipated tradition will see a host of fiery fun take place at locations all around the town.

The children’s barrels get under way at around 4pm.

This is followed by the women’s, men’s and intermediate barrels from around 7pm.

The men’s Midnight Barrel is then rolled in Broad Street, otherwise known as ‘The Square’.

Rob Wickham, event director, has called for visitors to be patient and has urged them not to panic and arrive in the town early, after it was announced the event’s main car park will be closed due to the wet weather.

A host of road closures and parking restrictions will be in place.

Traffic enforcement officers will be patrolling the area and issuing tickets to any vehicles found flouting these.

Clearways and no parking zones will come into force as of noon.

A host of streets will then be set at 3.30pm, before the town is closed off completely at 5pm.

Car parks

Organisers have warned that wet weather has left event’s main car park in Barrack Road closed for the big day – and there will be limited space elsewhere.

The out-of-action car park normally caters for a quarter of the vehicles attending the event, but an additional facility will be available at Otter Garden Centre.

Other car parks are:

Ottery Football Club: Located off Butts Road. All access from the A30 is via the B3177 via Alfington. The car park will be open from 4pm. All cars £10.

Otter Garden Centre: This is the main coach park and is located in Gosford Road. All access from the A30 is via the B3177 via Alfington. Charges are: £40 for minibuses, £75 for 26-seater coaches and £150 for 52-plus seat coaches/buses.

Strawberry Lane – Ottery Cricket Club: There is a limited amount of space at this location with access only from Barrack Road. All cars £10.

Finnimore Industrial Estate: This is also the disabled parking location (£10).

Road closures

Ottery residents have been urged to ensure they can get home before the town’s roads are closed at 5pm.

Several streets and cul-de-sacs in the town will be shut-off at 3.30pm. These are:

  • Jesu Street at the Tip Hill junction;
  • Yonder Street (Bridgefield) at the Slade Road and Furzebrook junction;
  • Brook Street at the Silver Street junction;
  • Sandhill Street at the Cornhill/Gold Street junction;
  • All the way through New Street to the Furzebrook junction;
  • New lane, below the Sunnyhill junction
  • Spring Gardens;
  • Brookdale;
  • Chapel Lane;
  • Yonder Close;
  • Batts lane.

The rest of the town’s roads will be closed at 5pm.

All will reopen again at around 1am on Wednesday, November 6.

Parking restrictions 

Traffic enforcement officers will be patrolling in Ottery throughout the day.

Parking restrictions will be in place along Ridgeway, the west side of Kennaway, Bridgefield, Yonder street, Jesu Street, Mill Street, Barrack Road and Exeter Road.

They will also apply to Cadhay Lane, Strawberry Lane, all the way through to new buildings on the Fluxton to the Tipton St John road.

Clearways and no parking zones will come into effect from noon.

Vehicles parked in any of these areas will be issued with tickets.

Any vehicle found to be obstructing a safe passage for emergency vehicles is likely to be towed away.

Buses and taxis

The collection and drop-off point for busses is at Salston Cross. There will be lighting through Strawberry Lane for everyone on foot.

Taxi drop-off points will also be in place at Salston Cross and at the Butts Hill junction.

Emergency contact number

Organisers have advised that any resident that has an emergency – and has to leave the town while the Tar Barrels is taking place – can contact the event’s transport officer for help on 07555 088568.  This number is for emergency use only.

Warning as wet weather leaves main Ottery Tar Barrels car park unusable

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