We were planning on avoiding the Headland for the 4 day Tall Ships visit but the ban on cars entering the Headland means its actually easier to get in and out that it is on a normal day. Went to my parent's for lunch and got my normal parking spot, no problem. I have seen the Headland itself busier on a normal carnival day. The only hold up was a couple of minutes for double parked taxis on Northgate, but then taxis stop like that any time not just for Tall Ships.
Definitely loads more people today but still hard to see how there are 250,000 (PLUS) the route in from the A19/Sheraton Flyover was clear all the way, takes longer on a normal Sunday, lots of pedestrians on the short stretch from gate 10 to Central Park but the parking area itself was easily less than a third full. I watched people coming in/out via gate 10 and numbers over a 15 minute period were less than 100 at around 2.00pm. The stewards with their little clickers were working overtime and I saw one visitor who was counted in and then went back to help carry a buggy over the rough strip and was counted in again by the same Steward!
I was impressed with Rovers Rugby Club initiative, they must have creamed a fair bit off the main park and ride sites! At least that money will stay in Hartlepool!