Traffic delay warning for Highland show visitors

Traffic chaos at Royal Highland Show on Thursday. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Traffic chaos at Royal Highland Show on Thursday. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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what can be done to ease congestion while the Royal Highland Show is on at Ingliston?

Around 200,000 people are set to descend on the Royal Highland Centre over the four-day event, with thousands more exhibiting products meaning a high volume of traffic heading out towards the West of the city.

Some motorists took to social media to share their experiences of “sitting in traffic for hours” before making it to the show, while others reported “gridlock” as they drove towards the venue.

Attendees were being encouraged to keep up to date with the latest traffic information on Twitter using the ‘#RHStravel’ hashtag.

However, passengers at Edinburgh Airport were also affected by the delays as a British Airways’ flight to London City was left stranded on the tarmac with the First Officer stuck on the busy access road.

Show organisers have since encouraged visitors to plan ahead for the journey and use public transport where possible.

Guests made 60,000 more journeys to the event using public transport last year alone, with that number expected to rise for the 2018 edition.

Crew on the London flight were able to land in London only nine minutes behind schedule and a spokesman from Edinburgh Airport said provisions were being made for staff to beat the traffic.

He added: “This is an isolated incident of one person being late for work and not an issue that is directly related to the airport’s operations.”

“We have communicated with teams across the campus and have opened an access route across the old runway for staff.

The spokesman continued: “We have issued very clear travel advice and information over the past few weeks and have been working with public transport partners as well as Traffic Scotland, Police Scotland and the Royal Highland Show to get those messages out. This will continue throughout the duration of the event.”

A spokeswoman for British Airways commented: “Our pilots are experts in safety and flying rather than goats or cows, but we’re glad he 
managed to shepherd you all into London just nine minutes behind schedule.”

The 178th edition of the event features more than 1,000 trade exhibitors displaying everything from the latest hi-tech tractors to outdoor clothing and luxury goods, it showcases the best of farming, food and rural life.

More than 6,000 animals will also be on site for a massive array of classes and demonstrations.

A packed programme of music and entertainment features everything from pop to pipes and ceilidhs to choirs to keep guests entertained.

The showground opens from 7.30am to 8pm on Friday and Saturday and from 7.30am to 6pm on Sunday.

Traffic Scotland advised all guests to be mindful of an increased volume of vehicles on the roads, adding all motorists, including those travelling to the airport, should allow extra time for journeys.

In a post on their website, Traffic Scotland wrote: “We expect traffic to be busier than normal on the following trunk routes; the M9 at junction one Newbridge; the M8 around junction one Hermiston Gait and junction two Claylands.”

“Local roads in the area will also see an increase in traffic, particularly the A8 around Edinburgh Airport.”

Public transport providers Lothian will run a select number of special services connecting the event with Edinburgh city centre. The new 97 service will provide connections from Edinburgh Park Station and Edinburgh Gateway Station to the Royal Highland Show every 15 minutes on 
Friday and Saturday and every 30 minutes on Sunday.

The service 98 will run every five to ten minutes from Edinburgh City Centre for the duration of the show with stops on George Street, Shandwick Place and Haymarket.

A nightbus service will also carry passengers who have attended the show dance back to Edinburgh city centre between 01.30 and 02.15 on Sunday morning.

Full details of travel arrangements to and from the event are available on the Royal Highland Show website.