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Stackyard News Jun 07

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    Traffic to Flow at the Great Yorkshire Show

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

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 agency.

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 town centre.”

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 routes.

“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 your destination.

“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 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).

link The Great Yorkshire Cheese and Dairy Show
link Meet Creatures Great and Small at the Great Yorkshire Show
link Fabulous Food at the Great Yorkshire Show

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The Great Yorkshire Show
The Great Yorkshire Show