As the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) gears up for the 180th Royal Highland Show, there are signs the event is nearing capacity.
RHASS chairman Bill Gray believed it would not be long before the success of the show meant the society would need to consider limiting ticket sales for the Saturday, traditionally the show’s busiest day.
Saturday attendance this year was 58,000.
Mr Gray said: “As we retain regular visitors and open up the show to new audiences, we need to ensure the visitor experience exceeds expectations.
With growing numbers attending at the weekend, this becomes challenging, so we need to consider ways we can manage numbers on each day.
“This will not happen for 2020, but is likely to feature in coming years.”
RHASS directors were also supporting a review of transport and travel, following the successful pilot of its public transport plan in 2019, which saw more than 40,000 people visit the show via bus, tram and train.
New for the 2020 show is a comprehensive bus travel plan, which will transport showgoers from major towns and cities throughout Scotland.
RHASS chief executive Alan Laidlaw said: “Last year more than 50,000 day visitors parked at the showground during the four days and this level of parking is not considered sustainable as the show grows.
“The biggest source of frustration among visitors is around travel time. These roads are already congested due to heavy traffic coming to and from the city and the airport every day and it is not realistic to expect an additional 12,500 cars per day not to have a significant impact.”
A three-year, £15 million investment programme into the RHASS’s 49-hectare Ingliston showground is nearing completion.
The first phases involved significant modernisation to utilities and the upgrading of existing facilities. The final, and much more visible phase, has involved the construction of a £5m conference and membership facility.
Completion is scheduled for spring 2020, well in advance of the show, which runs from Thursday, June 18, until Sunday, June 21.