New traffic arrangements for this year’s Great Yorkshire
Show should help keep traffic moving and minimise disruption
to visitors and local residents, say organisers of the event.
Great Yorkshire Show
Operations Manager for the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, Mr
Nigel Morgan, said the Show’s Traffic Management Team – which
includes North Yorkshire County Council, the Highways Agency,
Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire Police – had
taken every step to ensure traffic could flow around the area
as freely as possible throughout the three days.
The improved arrangements have cost the Society £102,000
to implement, and Mr Morgan said he was confident an effective
plan was now in place.
The Great Yorkshire Show is the north’s premier agricultural
event and takes place at the Showground on the edge of Harrogate
from Tuesday 10 – Thursday 12 July. Last year’s Show
attracted a record-breaking crowd of 135,111.
This year sees a change to the traffic management for the event
with NYCC and the Highways Agency assuming greater responsibility.
North Yorkshire County Council is responsible for all roads except
the A1(M), A19 and A64 trunk roads which are managed by the Highways
Agency. The car parking on the showground remains the responsibility
of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society. North Yorkshire Police
are still actively involved with the traffic management plan
but in line with National police policy is no longer the lead
Event traffic management experts SEP Ltd will play a greater
role than in previous years, by implementing the traffic plan
and providing additional resources during the Show from the joint
traffic management centre based on site. The company provides
a similar service to such high-profile events as The Grand National
and the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show. In the past it has handled
the car parking at the Great Yorkshire Show.
Mr Morgan added the Society had taken an active role in ensuring
information about traffic routes was distributed as widely as
possible, and that visitors were encouraged to use methods of
transport other than cars.
“The car parks will be open from 6am this year, so visitors
can arrive early, enjoy breakfast and then be relaxed for a great
day at the show. We also have two additional car parks this year
which will accommodate up to 3,000 vehicles and relieve the pressure
on traffic entering the Showground,” said Mr Morgan.
“As well as adding a secure cycle park to the north of
the site, off Hookstone Oval, there will be a new shuttle bus
service from Starbeck. The previously limited shuttle bus service
from Hornbeam will now start from 7.30am and run throughout the
day, and buses continue to run every 20 minutes from Harrogate
Consultation with Northern Rail has also led to the number of
carriages being increased from two to four on the York-Harrogate
service during the Show, allowing an extra 150 seated passengers
per journey. There will also be an additional three-coach service
from York to Hornbeam Park, Harrogate, mid-morning.
Inspector Andy Chapman, of North Yorkshire Police, stressed the
changed arrangements did not mean traffic problems would be exacerbated.
“North Yorkshire Police has withdrawn from traffic management
as a result of national guidelines, which are based on the rationale
that police should concentrate on their primary function – the
reduction of crime and disorder.
“But we are still very much part of the planning process – and
planning is definitely the key to success. The police are involved
throughout, with officers who are experts in traffic management.
“Our main concern is public safety and we will be supporting
the Show within the Showground and with additional resources
in the area.”
Inspector Chapman added: “Of course there will be some
disruption and traffic congestion – this is a big show
and that is inevitable. So we would urge people to plan their
journey and also stick to the designated routes, which will be
clearly signed. If people stick to the proper routes, traffic
can keep flowing and it will make the journey easier for everybody.”
The Highways Agency is putting on an extra patrol for the duration
of the show and will ensure up-to-date travel information is
provided on their hotline and website.
Mr Guy Huckle, Operations Manager, said additional signing would
be provided along the A1(M) and urged people to stick to prescribed
“One thing I would say is that people should not use the
hard shoulder when they are frustrated by traffic – this
is for emergencies only. Of course there will be heavy traffic,
but by following the directions you will make it easier to reach
“Allow extra time for the trip, make sure your vehicle
is in good order or, even better, use one of the public transport
options which have been greatly improved this year.”
Near the Showground itself, the one-way ‘free-flow’ system
will again be in operation along Wetherby Road (A661), with inbound
traffic only allowed between 7am-2pm for the duration of the
Show, and outbound traffic only allowed from 2pm-8pm.
A new system will be in place at the A661/A658 roundabout near
the Kestrel pub, with lanes coned off to allow priority for traffic
travelling from the A59 to the Showground.
For full details of designated routes to the Great Yorkshire
Show, visit the website at www.greatyorkshireshow.co.uk. A PDF
of the Travel Information Leaflet 2007 can also be downloaded.
During the Show, up-to-date travel information can be obtained
from the Highways Agency Hotline on 08457 504030 or by listening
to BBC Radio York, the Great Yorkshire’s Show’s official
radio station, on 104.3FM (Harrogate and Hambleton); 103.7FM
(York and central North Yorkshire); or 95.5FM (east coast).
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