ORGANISERS of parades in East Lancashire which faced an uncertain future due to road closure rules have welcomed new guidelines.

Lancashire County Council has issued new advice which sees a relaxation in the rules about closing roads for parades and events on the highways.

The Britannia Coconut Dancers waged a long battle over the rules to make sure their Easter Saturday procession through Bacup and Stacksteads could continue.

But Clitheroe Scouts’ St George’s Day parade was called off just a few days before because not enough volunteer marshalls had been trained.

Lancashire county councillor David Whipp called for a review of the procedures earlier this year, and recently helped to make sure the Barnoldswick’s St George’s Day celebration overcame the ‘draconian rules’.

He said: “The new guidance makes it far more practical for event organisers to put a road closure in place. The previous rules were completely over the top, requiring the use of expensive commercial traffic management companies.

“I’m pleased people are beginning to see sense about these key community events.”

The new rules spell out that roads can be closed for parades and other activities by using signs and stewards, thus avoiding the need for the police or accredited marshalls to direct traffic.

The county council is also buying signs which can be borrowed by event organisers.

“This is good news for the hundreds of community events affected by the withdrawal of police traffic management for these activities,” said Coun Whipp.

“The new system should be safe and won’t cost a fortune.”