THOUSANDS of fun seekers will visit St Giles’ Fair in Oxford but their journey to the annual attraction may not be an easy ride.

The discovery of a sinkhole in Walton Street last month has delayed resurfacing work and it has not been completed in time for the celebrations.

As a result there’s a new diversion route for the fair and people are being urged to get public transport to avoid congestion.

Oxford Mail:

Walton Street would normally be part of the diversion route but the roadworks will last ‘several more weeks’ due to ‘unforeseen complex engineering issues’.

READ AGAIN: St Giles' Fair 2018: All the pictures from the opening day

The letter to county councillors warned: “There there will be no access to Walton Street for any vehicles and this will mean an increase in traffic congestion and journey times.”

Oxford Mail:

City council leader Susan Brown urged drivers to leave their cars at home during the fair unless their journeys were ‘essential’.

She said: “Urgent repair work in Walton Street and the usual road closures for St Giles’ Fair mean there’s likely to be heavy congestion on all routes into the city on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

READ AGAIN: Walton Street closed due to sinkholes

“We want everyone to enjoy the fun of the fair and nobody likes being stuck in traffic. If you’re coming into Oxford for the fair I’d urge you to leave your car behind and catch the Park and Ride instead.

“Driving in Oxford is also likely to take longer. If your journey is not essential, why not walk, cycle or take the bus if you can?”

Oxford Mail:

The diversion route running from 1am on Sunday to 6.30am Wednesday will be via St Margaret’s Road, Banbury Road, Marston Ferry Road, Marston Road, St Clement’s, The Plain, Iffley Road, Donnington Bridge Road, Abingdon Road and Oxpens Road and vice-versa.

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Buses and taxis will still be able to use the planned fair diversion route via Parks Rd, Broad Street and George Street as in previous years.

Oxford Mail:

Work being done in Botley Road by SGN will be suspended during the fair.

County council cabinet member for environment Yvonne Constance said: “If you have to drive while the fair is on, we would advise you to plan your journey to take closures into account and to follow the signed diversion route.”

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St Giles’ Fair is one of the oldest fairs in England with a history that dates back to the early 17th century when it was a parish festival to celebrate the feast of St Giles.

Oxford Mail:

By the 18th century it had become a toy fair and eventually evolved in the late 1800s to become a mix of mechanical rides and side stalls.

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There is something for everyone and visitors can look forward to traditional funfair rides and amusements including dodgems, a helter skelter and carousel, combined with up-to-date, white-knuckle rides.

The council works with the Showmen’s Guild to stage the fair and this year include the Sky Flyer which lifts riders 100ft in the air, and The Storm which spins riders at 40mph.