A £500,000 cash boost to transform parking at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show has been announced, in a bid to avoid a repeat of last year’s washout.
Show organisers the Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS) will build a three mile temporary road network and boost parking capacity by 5,000 spaces to accommodate the 45,000 cars expected to transport an estimated 130,000 visitors to the July showpiece.
Last year, the show was cancelled after one day as heavy rain left car parks too muddy for use. The cancellation cost YAS £2m, and it is hoped the temporary network, coupled with a new 5.5km drainage system, will be strong enough to beat the elements.
The extra spaces will be at Rudding Park Estate, and transport will be provided from the spots to the show.
YAS Chief Executive Nigel Pulling said: “This is one of the most significant developments in our long history. Having to cancel the last two days of the 2012 show was heartbreaking. As a direct result, an additional £500,000 has been earmarked on top of our annual Show budget of £3m to improve and increase the parking available.
“It’s not that we are expecting more cars, on the contrary, we are keen to encourage people to use public transport, but this gives us greater flexibility should it prove necessary.”
He continued: “We have an extensive programme of groundworks underway, which will see a new network of temporary roads – a total of around 5 kilometers (or 3.4 miles) and a similar amount of drainage. “Many of our fields have been used for parking for a number of years which has compacted the ground and two Yorkshire companies, Sumo UK Ltd and Ripon Farm Services, are currently helping us by sub soiling the car parks to improve the drainage.
“To help improve access, we’re using about 13,000 tonnes of stone for the roads and also at gateways of many of the car park entrances, which should also make a real difference,” he added.
This year’s show runs from July 9-11.
Tickets are available now by calling 01423541222, in person at the show’s office at the Great Yorkshire Showground, or at www.greatyorkshireshow.co.uk