Route, parking and the path back to your car

It happens every year at the plowing championships despite the best intentions of many people attending the event.

Motorists traveling to the site consult traffic management maps in advance, faithfully follow the directions of Gardai, who will be on duty at key locations, observe road signage and adhere to recommended routes and car parks of similar color.

But as thousands of people head for home in the evening, drivers and their passengers often can’t remember where they had parked their cars earlier in the day.

It tends to cause confusion and delays.

Car locator card

The National Plowing Association has made provision, however, to help people out of their dilemma and ease their anxiety — stewards will issue a car locator card to each driver once they have parked their vehicle.

Retention of the card is just one of the ways to help drivers to locate their cars in the six parking areas, which will have color codes matching those on the routes they took to the site earlier in the day.

Each of the car parks will have a color-specific blimp which can be seen from the trade arena to help direct people back to their vehicles. And there will also be color-coded signage at the entrance and exit in the parking areas.

Numerous maps will also be displayed on the site indicating the direction of each car park.

Stewards will be on-site to assist motorists to locate their vehicles by identifying their admission wristband number.

The NPA is again advising people driving to the event to plan their route well in advance and to factor in at least double the normal journey time due to heavy volumes of traffic that is expected.

Motorists are specifically urged not to use satellite navigation systems as traffic diversions and road closures may result in these being rendered ineffective.

Over 40,000 white FBD child safety wristbands will also be issued at the site entrances. These will facilitate a contact phone number being written on the band in case the wearer wanders off amidst the large gathering.

NPA managing director Anna May McHugh, noting that some 300,000 visitors are expected over the course of the three days, said these wristbands give reassurance and peace of mind to all visitors and add immensely to their experience.

FBD chief executive Tomás O’Midheach said this important initiative has proved incredibly useful over the years in protecting children should they become separated from their parents or loved ones while attending the largest event in the Irish farming calendar.

Motorists with a vehicle pass are also reminded to clearly display it on the front windshield. Otherwise, they may be directed into outer car parks.

The NPA is further advising people traveling to the event to take the train if possible. Bus Eireann will run shuttle bus services from Portlaoise, Portarlington and Athy Train Stations.

People intending to travel to the event on the colour-coded routes are advised to consult the Garda traffic management map.

Traffic updates will also be available on:

www.garda.ie

www.npa.ie
and

www.theaa.ie

.

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