Page last updated at 12:26 GMT, Friday, 12 September 2008 13:26 UK

Theme park looks at traffic issue

Thomas Land attraction
Thomas Land opened in March

A Staffordshire theme park has proposed changes to road signs to the site after villagers expressed traffic concerns.

Drayton Manor Park has had its highest figures since 1994, which it puts down to a new attraction, Thomas Land, based on the Thomas the Tank Engine series.

It said it was proposing a sign at junction 9 instead of 10 for traffic heading south on the M42 to avoid cars going through the village of Fazeley.

The theme park described a meeting with interested parties as "constructive".

More visitors

"A number of options were discussed and we will now progress them and explore situations," a spokesman said.

"More people are travelling to the park between 9 and 11.30am and that's when the congestion is happening."

He said the theme park near Tamworth would be talking to all parties concerned, including the Highways Agency.

Drayton Manor has also proposed having a sign at junction T2 on the M6 Toll.

A councillor with Staffordshire County Council, Matthew Ellis, who was at Thursday's meeting, said there was "some useful progress made".

"Drayton Manor Park employs 400 people from the immediate locality so it's a big employer," he said.

"It's great for Lichfield. It's great for Staffordshire.

"But what I can't have is people spending an hour trying to go to the local shops."

The park said it had already had more visitors this year than for the whole of 2003, which produced the highest figures in recent years.

Thomas Land, featuring 12 rides and other facilities, opened in March.

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