AN apology has been issued after Teesside Airshow was branded a "shambles" by furious families who had been left waiting hours in large queues.

The Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen issued a statement as the event has been left spoiled by chaotic scenes, several-mile long queues and disappointed ticket holders.

It comes as the A67 and A66 saw traffic backed up for miles and miles as some said they had been stuck just two miles from the airport for more than three hours.

Read more: Teesside Airshow: Chaos on A67 and A66 as drivers wait ‘three hours’

In a statement, Ben Houchen said: “Teesside Airshow has been a victim of its own success and, while it’s been great to see more than 20,000 people wanting to visit the show, it’s a huge shame that many people have had their days spoiled by long queues. 

The Northern Echo: Chaos on the A67 between Yarm and Teesside Airport Picture: JIM SCOTTChaos on the A67 between Yarm and Teesside Airport Picture: JIM SCOTT

“I am so sorry that delays and traffic have impacted not just those going to our airshow, but also local people trying to get around.

“I will be speaking to the organisers and conducting a full review and debrief as a matter of urgency early next week.

Read more: Teesside Airshow: traffic chaos for would-be spectators

"I will also be liaising with the organisers to do whatever I can to get refunds for those who suffered major delays or who were unable to attend as a result of the delays. At this time, I can only apologise again for any disappointment people rightly feel.”

The Northern Echo: Chaos on the A67 between Yarm and Teesside Airport Picture: JIM SCOTTChaos on the A67 between Yarm and Teesside Airport Picture: JIM SCOTT

Thousands of drivers were left gridlocked as roads surrounding the airport came to an almost complete stop for a number of hours.

Never seen before scenes of chaos were captured as one set of pictures showed the moment occupants left their cars to watch the Red Arrows do a flypast at 12pm.

'We'll be lucky to get in before it closes'

Drivers, some of whom had travelled from hundreds of miles away, said they had been left "furious and disappointed" after paying upwards of £50 per family to see the show.

One driver, who was stuck in gridlocked traffic on the A67 near Teesside Airport Railway Station, said: "We've been queuing since the morning. We'll be lucky to get in before it closes."

Another driver, who said they had been hoping to arrive before the entry time of 10 after travelling from Newcastle, said they had been left furious at the congestion.

They said: "The police have been on the scene and have been doing traffic management, but we've had hours of this."

On social media, hundreds have hit been highly critical of the chaotic scenes, describing it as a shambles.

Read more: Teesside Airshow LIVE: Drivers stuck in three hour queues as displays underway

David Jones tweeted that he had actually given up after spending hours in traffic.

He said: "Given up on trying to get to @TeesAirshow - traffic planning non-existent, drove 100+ miles only to spend 2 hoursin traffic queuing from the outskirts of Darlington and still be over 2 miles away from the site. Abysmal event management."

Karen Groves said she gave up after being "bumper to bumper" for two hours after travelling just seven miles from her home.

The Northern Echo: The traffic near Yarm Road in Darlington. Picture: CRAIG STODDARTThe traffic near Yarm Road in Darlington. Picture: CRAIG STODDART

She said: "Absolute gridlock. We only live seven miles away and were stuck for more than two hours, bumper to bumper.

"Parents were getting their children out of cars and walking down! We purchased tickets and car park places back in February.

"This was going to be our first day our in more than two years. So annoyed, not good enough."

Darren Petty said: "Teesside should be ashamed after hosting that. It was a pathetic sham from start to finish. We tried to leave early at 2pm and never even moved 10ft in an hour."

"Apart from the Red Arrows and Spitfire/Hurrican, it was a sham of a show - more of a glorified fair. First and last time we will be bothering."

SkyLive, who are the event organisers, have not yet responded to our request for comment.


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