Belfast Telegraph

Hopes a four-day Balmoral Show will ease traffic jams

By Chris McCullough

The organisers of the Balmoral Show have said the traffic congestion that has plagued the annual agricultural extravaganza should be alleviated this year after an extra day was added to the event.

Visitors to the 149th Balmoral Show from May 10-13 will be hoping for much better weather than what was on offer at the launch yesterday.

Sponsors and media huddled in the cold at the Eikon Exhibition Centre in Balmoral Park to formally launch the new four-day format.

The Royal Ulster Agricultural Society has decided to extend the show in an effort to reduce traffic jams, which have been a major problem since the event moved to the former Maze Prison site from the King's Hall in south Belfast.

Around 90,000 attend the popular agriculture showcase each year at Balmoral Park near Lisburn, but the organisers also hope the additional day, a Saturday, will attract those who work during the week.

RUAS chief executive Colin McDonald added: "With the show being extended to a fourth day it is hoped this will alleviate the traffic congestion problems experienced at last year's event.

"Spreading the traffic over four days should help with the traffic flow overall."

During the event the NI Food Pavilion will showcase more than 100 local producers, with 50 chefs cooking up a storm over the four days. The show this year will see the introduction of a new health and fitness village, which will appeal to gym buffs and outdoor adventurers alike.

A superb family day out is on offer as food and fitness are served alongside farming, a live robotic milking demonstration and, of course, all the animals.

Rhonda Geary, RUAS operations director, said: "We are very excited to bring our amazing show offering to a fourth day, on a Saturday, which has been called for for many years.

"We are delighted to see a marked increase in many livestock sectors including equine and beef, and are looking forward to a full house in May competing for prestigious Balmoral titles."

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