A Christmas lights switch-on at Loch Lomond Shores which attracted 38,000 people last year has been cancelled due to concerns over public safety.

Indeed, hordes of adults and kids crammed into 2017’s free event, causing congestion inside the attraction and out with in the streets of Balloch where visitors’ vehicles were abandoned after the car park overflowed.

The attendance was 23,000 higher than the previous year, as people turned up for the switch on, fireworks display and live entertainment, but also to enjoy the addition of a continental style Christmas market.

In light of the difficulties, a Shores spokesperson confirmed that bosses had scrapped this year’s switch-on “due to safety concerns raised by the police and local licensing over the unprecedented number of attendees at last year’s switch-on”.

The announcement will come as a big disappointment to those who had been keen to attend a similar event this year and has prompted dismay from several community figures.

West Dunbartonshire Council leader Jonathan McColl said he was “disappointed” at the news and expressed concern over the detrimental impact the cancellation would have on businesses within and surrounding Loch Lomond Shores.

Jim Biddulph from Balloch and Haldane Community Council, meanwhile, said he was not surprised at the decision after last year’s chaos, but also said it would come as a blow to businesses who operate from the tourist attraction.

Local police and West Dunbartonshire Council confirmed they had not been approached by Loch Lomond Shores about the event being held this year.

Inspector Roddy MacNeill said it had been suggested that it should be a ticketed event to keep track of the number of those coming to the switch-on.

The cancellation follows bosses also pulling the plug on other events this year, including annual food and drink event Springfest.

It is, however, believed that a Christmas market, Santa’s grotto and other activities will still be held.