FAMILIES were left unable to visit Teesside Airshow after huge queues lead to gridlocked traffic for hours on Saturday.

People from up and down the country had set off in a bid to get to the event, which started at 10am, only to be stuck in huge queues on surrounding roads.

Major arterial routes including the A66 and A67 were at a standstill for hours, with families seen leaving their vehicles just to catch a glimpse of the Red Arrows.

Read more: Teesside Airshow: Ryanair Majorca passengers had to walk along A67

That was despite already paying tickets which were charged at £25 for families, £10 per adult and £5 for under 16s.

The Northern Echo: Picture: NORTHERN ECHOPicture: NORTHERN ECHO

But what is the current situation with tickets and will refunds be issued?

Last night, SkyLive, who organised the event, confirmed they are looking into how it will process refunds for those affected.

Read more: Teesside Airshow: Watch as Red Arrows perform flypast and wow the crowds

Chris Petty and Steve Davies, co-organisers of Sky Live Air, said: “We apologise to every single person that was affected by the delays in getting to yesterday’s airshow.

“We employed a professional traffic management company, have held numerous meetings over many months with Stockton and Darlington Councils, the Safety Advisory Group, and the Police. The traffic management plan in place was fully signed off by everyone.

“Clearly something went wrong yesterday and we will fully investigate to make sure this doesn’t happen again. We are looking in to how to give refunds to those who didn’t attend the show because of the delays.”

Apologies offered

An official apology from the Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen was recently issued who has said he will be doing "whatever he can" to get refunds issued to those affected.

He said: “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.

Read more: Apology given after Teesside Airshow branded 'shambles' as families stuck in three hour

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

"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.”

What families have said

Families told The Echo that they had been left "disappointed and gutted" as some gave up after more than three hours of queuing, despite travelling from nearby.

Sandra Buckingham said: "Give refunds. Then the organisers should agree never to be part of this event ever again."

Steven Brown said: "I will be trying to get a refund. It was a ticket-only event. They knew exactly how many visitors and cars were coming.

"They shouldn't have sold so many tickets or had better traffic management."

Peta Rasbeary said: "My daughter, her husband and two young sons were stuck in traffic for hours. They'd bought tickets but had to turn around to be able to feed their sons. What a shambles."


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