Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Thousands attend RAF Leuchars airshow

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Media captionThe event took place against a background of uncertainty over the future of Scotland's three RAF bases

Up to 50,000 people have attended this year's airshow at RAF Leuchars in Fife, which celebrates the past, present and future of Britain's air defence.

The show took place place 70 years after the Battle of Britain.

It is being held as concerns rise over the future of local air bases including Leuchars, Lossiemouth and Kinloss.

In 2009, thousands of drivers were caught in traffic jams. BBC Scotland has been contacted by drivers who have experienced similar problems this year.

Fife Council had introduced temporary traffic restrictions and set up three park and ride sites, to try to avoid the same thing happening.

There were also temporary one-way systems and speed limits imposed in the surrounding area.

However, one man from Dunblane said he had given up after being stuck in a traffic jam for four hours.

Image caption A Hurricane, Lancaster and Spitfire took part in a Battle of Britain flypast

"If anything it was worse than last year," he said.

Another man, Colin Ireland, said: "I left Alloa to attend the airshow at RAF Leuchars at 8am this morning.

"By 12.30pm, I was still west of Cupar in a tailback lasting about 8-10 miles, having been stopped for over three hours. I gave up in disgust and disappointment and turned about and went home.

"Obviously the arrangements made for the traffic going to Leuchars were totally inadequate, as were the car parking arrangements, as one of the car parks was put out of use because of flooding."

Another reader, Victoria Aitcheson, told the BBC Scotland news website: "After paying £84 to go and over four hours waiting I decided to turn back and head home. It was a total disgrace and should have been better planned."

Image caption A traffic jam en-route to RAF Leuchars in Fife

A Fife Constabulary spokesman said that flooding caused by heavy rainfall had forced the closure of one of the car parks immediately before the start of the event.

"This, together with a number of road traffic collisions, required an immediate response by the RAF and the police to divert traffic and restore safe, free-flowing traffic to the airbase," he said.

The police also said that Fife Council had to be called out clear mud from the Seggie park and ride.

More than 100 aircraft were on display at the event - including a 6 Squadron Typhoon, which made its Leuchars debut.

The military airshow is Scotland's biggest, and was first held in 1945.

It took place as fears rise over cuts expected in the UK government's forthcoming defence review.

As the airshow was taking place a bus and a car collided on the A91 between Guardbridge and St Andrews at about 1610 BST, Fife Constabulary said.

One of the people in the car was airlifted to Ninewells Hospital and a number of bus passengers were taken to hospital, although their injuries were not thought to be serious.

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