FESTIVAL-goers are to be banned from standing on Worcester Bridge during a popular fireworks event due to public safety.

The spectacular fireworks display held above the banks of the river Severn, brings the curtain down on the popular 16-day Worcester Festival on Bank Holiday Monday on August 28. 

Police and festival organisers say the ban is not a result of recent terrorist attacks such as the Westminster Bridge atrocity in March when five people were killed.

Over the past 14 years the fireworks display has grown in popularity with revellers watching on from the riverside at South Quay and from the bridge.

But as crowds numbers have increased, to more than 10,000, West Mercia Police suggested to event organisers to close the bridge to pedestrians over fears there may be an accident on the road.

Chief Inspector James Baker, of West Mercia Police, said: “This is about public safety and the effective management of a crowd, which over the years has built up on the bridge to a point that it is becoming dangerous. 

"We do not want anyone spilling into a live carriageway and possibly causing an accident. 

"As such, we have spoken to the organisers about their responsibilities and given appropriate advice for their action.

"These concerns are in no way related to any potential terrorism threat but purely to protect the public.

Festival director Chris Jaeger said although there was no concern of a terror attack, people had become aware of the dangers with large gatherings on bridges, particularly after the Westminster Bridge attack.

Mr Jaeger said: "Obviously with recent atrocities it is in people's minds - but you can not give into terrorism - no one would ever hold public events.

"This is more a road safety thing.

"We will act on the advice. Our stewards will tell people not to stand on the bridge during the fireworks (between 9.40pm and 10.15).

"We have looked at other locations in the past, but in the end it is a free, city centre event so we are reluctant to move. 

We want families to come, enjoy themselves, and keep them safe. It is the people's festival."

For more on the festival visit www.worcesterfestival.co.uk.