Delays caused mainly by technical issues with card readers have been tackled ahead of this year's South Suffolk Show - and traffic flow should be much improved, say organisers.

Last year, some show-goers heading to the event - held at Ampton point-to-point racecourse near Bury St Edmunds - suffered long delays.

Organisers at South Suffolk Agricultural Association have been working tirelessly to solve the issues - and believe that access to this year's event on Sunday, May 12, will be transformed.

Show secretary Suzy Stennett said the show was on track, with a number of upgrades and improvements undertaken.

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Last year a very wet set-up week combined with problems with the card readers meant queues built up, she said.

"It depends what time they came. Anyone before 10am had no problem at all and there were no complaints.

"People coming between 10am and 2pm unfortunately the queues built up.

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"There were two big issues. The main issue was technical issues with our card readers.  Before Covid most people paid by cash. Since Covid most pay by credit card," she explained.

"Although we had card readers they weren't very good and were taking over a minute."

The other issue was the entrance way became rutted due to wet weather pre-show and they had to keep applying bark chippings.

"It just didn't help," she said. But added: "We have taken steps to ensure traffic flow is much improved."

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They now have a new contract with an up-to-date card readers and they were also widening the track to create two lanes. They would also be directing show-goers to the ground so that they would not have to cross the flow of traffic on the road.

"We were talking about it (the delays) the day after the show - that was the main subject: 'My goodness we can't let that happen again,'" she said.

The 135th show was now progressing well, she said.

"It has all come together. The only problem is we can't do a dry run. We have taken the issue very seriously so we are not anticipating the same problems."

The show attracts around 12,500 people a year - depending on the weather - with early bird tickets available until May 5.

This year's show president is RAF Honington station commander Max Hayward who has served for more than 20 years.

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He will bring a taste of the forces to the show - highlighting the link between the local rural and military communities.

As a result, the RAF will be performing a Battle of Britain Memorial Flypast - and the Royal Air Force Falcons Parachute Display Team will drop into the grand ring - weather permitting.

Other attractions include the HOH Equine team which will be performing in the grand ring with its highly skilled team of performance horses and riders.

They will be entertaining visitors with a display of classical dressage, liberty, stunt and trick riding. And JPL Shetland Pony Racing will provide an adrenaline-charged display of speed.

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Ladies In Pigs will be cooking home-produced pork and talking to show visitors about pork recipes. 

"We are always trying to keep the show fresh with new attractions while staying true to our agricultural roots," said Suzy.

Organisers have also made improvements to the showground including re-drilling, grassing and rolling the horse area to enable them to put in a new ring layout this year to improve the quality of the rings and allow for better spectator viewing.

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"We are very pleased with the way that it is looking and hope to build on it in future years by developing an equine village," she said.

Other entertainment outside the main ring includes a fun fair, farriers working at the forge, gun dogs working, terrier racing, a Sheep Show and new and old farm machinery.

The Ferretworld Roadshow will be looking for volunteers of all ages to race against their ferrets. Pooch's yard of Thetford will be running a fun dog show with rosettes for the waggiest tail and shiniest coat.

There will be trade stands, an art and craft marquee and a food hall. Sheep, pigs, cattle and horses will all be competing for rosettes.

Association chairman Jim Mann said: “Our show committee have worked very hard over the last 12 months, focusing on both restructuring the equine area to provide higher quality and more spectator friendly rings, and on a multi-faceted plan to improve the efficiency of traffic flow into the show ground in order to enhance our visitors’ overall experience.”

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Tickets are available on the gate from 8:30am at £18 an adult, £10 for children aged up to 16, and £12 for concessions, with children under five going free. 

Visit for details. Parking is free.