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Elton John World News: A Wide Berth in Perth

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Traffic Troubles Expected For July 6 Engagement

Wednesday 18 June 2008 @ 17:52 - GMT

Perth police face their ''biggest-ever traffic management headache,'' according to the Advertiser, when Elton comes to town.

More than 15,000 tickets have been purchased for the July 6 event the biggest concert ever staged in the Fair City.

And Elton's McDiarmid Park show coincides with the close of the three-day Scottish Game Fair at Scone Palace.

The Fair alone invariably threatens gridlock in Perth city centre.

Inspector Ken Brown, Tayside Police Western Divisions head of road policing, appealed to concert-goers in Perth to play their part in helping to reduce traffic congestion by taking the shuttle bus which will run from the city centre.

He also gave the assurance that detailed consultation had been undertaken between the police, the promoters, Perth and Kinross Council, other roads agencies and a traffic management company employed by the concert promoters.

Because the Game Fair is on the same day, albeit at different times, we have had to be extremely thoughtful in respect of traffic flow, said Inspector Brown.

We have come up with what all of us think is a good plan, but parking is limited and will be weather-dependent.

We would encourage people from the local area to use the shuttle bus, which will run from Perth City Centre to the Elton John concert.

St Johnstone managing director Stewart Duff reported that organisers had been consulting with T in the Park operators for months and eight separate parking areas have been lined-up to cope with the crowd.

Stagecoach will also be running a fleet of shuttle buses to and from the city centre for music fans.

Duff said: This will be the biggest event ever staged at McDiarmid Park and were delighted that a superstar performer like Sir Elton has chosen the venue for his latest tour. If this is successful hopefully other promoters and big-name acts will follow.

It will be one of the biggest outdoor events Perth has ever seen so there are logistical challenges. But the club has been working closely with promoters Marshall Arts, the police and the local authority.

An event of this magnitude and prestige can only be good for Perth and the surrounding area. It will be a big boost for the local economy.

While around 50 per cent of tickets sold have been snapped up in Perthshire, that still adds up to a lot of visitors coming into the area.

He added: We have had talks with T in the Park consultants regarding the traffic management plan and that has satisfied the police. The proposals will accommodate more than 6,000 vehicles.

While the McDiarmid car park will handle the concert infrastructure, extensive parking has been arranged adjacent to the stadium, opposite Perth Market, at Perth College and Scottish and Southern Energy, with Seven Acres playing fields in Letham another potential option.

We are delighted with the support we are receiving from local businesses, stated Mr. Duff. It promises to be a memorable occasion.

There will be food and drink outlets inside and outside the stadium. There shall also be a marquee erected near the all-weather pitch.

The concert will start at 6 p.m. but the gates open two hours earlier. We believe Sir Elton will perform for around two and a half hours. The facilities will remain open until 11.30 p.m. as the crowd disperses, said Stewart.

Tickets can still be procured by calling the hotline on 08700 406050.