18 Jun Drew keeps the traffic flowing at the Lincolnshire Show
Local farmer Drew Smith is a man who likes a challenge.
When he’s not working on the family arable and livestock business in the Lincolnshire Wolds, or as a director of Louth Tractors machinery dealership, he takes on the complex task of overseeing the movement of 12,500 cars a day on and off the Lincolnshire Showground site.
As chief traffic steward for the annual Lincolnshire Show, Drew Smith has been heading up the traffic management team for more than twenty years. A volunteer, like the 200 plus stewards who work together to create each year’s Lincolnshire Show, he has led the way on many changes that have transformed the visitor experience over the past decade, speeding up the time it takes for each vehicle to get on and off site.
He explained: “We have introduced many changes, such as the changeover from charging per vehicle for entry, to free car parking combined with individual entry tickets. “This created an immediate and dramatic improvement on our traffic management. Despite increasing the number of cars coming through, we managed to cut the queues down to virtually none, where it had previously taken as long as one hour to get in.“
The other major change for car drivers visiting the Show, has been the increase in the number of hardstanding and roads across the 200 acre showground site at Grange de Lings.
Drew added: “We’re very lucky to have fast draining soil here at the Showground, and the hard roads have made a big difference and allowed us to reduce our wet weather contingency plans, which involve holding cars back and avoiding too many vehicles travelling over any individual route, to avoid churning up the site.”
He added: “We have two days of Show each year, but there are lots of other events taking place in the weeks before and after, and the Showground has to look its best all the time, so we have to minimise the impact of all the vehicle movements before, during and after Show.”
Each year the layout is reviewed and improved, with Drew and his team scrutinising aerial shots to see how things are working and where improvements can be made for future. “None of this would be possible without my trusty team of stewards, who have worked together for over 10 years,” added Drew.