Sun shining as crowds flock to Balmoral day two

Balmoral Show Captions from Aine.
Balmoral Show Captions from Aine.

With traffic backed up at Sprucefield late morning on Thursday and a mile long queue of people at the entrance to the Maze Long Kesh site, it is fair to say the Balmoral Show’s popularity seemed to increase the stronger the sun shone.

I’ll admit I was a little apprehensive ahead of travelling to the show on day one, given the chaotic queues last year, when some motorists were caught in two-hour jams.

Balmoral Show Captions from Aine.

Balmoral Show Captions from Aine.

But, having left the M1 at Moira I was pleasantly surprised. Yes traffic slowed down the closer I got to the entrance, but a 20-minute wait was more than manageable.

On day two I followed the signs for the show from the West, leaving the motorway at junction eight.

Traffic slowed down and sure enough I found myself in a jam.

Arriving at the show people were queued in their hundreds, waiting patiently to see what was instore inside.

Those who spoke to the News Letter had been waiting for between 20 and 30 minutes, and said the queue had moved reasonably fast.

Most seemed happy enough to wait - with one man admitting it was all ok so long as the heavens didn’t open.

Organisers RUAS had put in place measures including making more alternative routes available and encouraging the use of public transport, to ease heavy congestion.

Views on how well it was handled were mixed, with one man from Monaghan complaining that he had to wait for two hours in a queue while another woman from Hilltown said she was in through the gates within five minutes of arriving early on Thursday.