• British Grand Prix

Silverstone takes measures to avoid a repeat of 2012

ESPN Staff
December 4, 2012 « McLaren buoyed by end to 2012 | Raikkonen enjoying lack of 'politics' at Lotus »
Huge queues on the way into the circuit © Getty Images

Silverstone has made changes to its plans for next year's British Grand Prix in order to avoid a repeat of traffic and camping chaos caused by bad weather at this year's race.

Silverstone experienced huge tailbacks on its access roads over this year's race weekend and advised ticket holders to stay away on qualifying day. Unofficial campsites around the circuit became waterlogged and closed, resulting in some fans camping on the verges of roads and roundabouts, making the situation worse.

In 2013 the circuit plans to lay on more shuttle buses to reduce the burden on the surrounding roads, as well as improving drainage in the grass car parks and increasing the size of its official campsite by 70 acres.

"More land will be allocated to get campers off the roads and into holding areas, while plots are assigned", Silverstone managing director Richard Phillips said. "The weather conditions caused delays in getting campers onto the site this year, which compounded traffic issues on the Dadford Road. Larger holding areas will enable us to get campers off the road and keep traffic flowing.

"One of the main problems on the Friday of this year's event was privately-owned campsites having to close, without notice, on safety grounds. This resulted in bottlenecks as campers, being turned away, joined the traffic system with nowhere to go. For 2013 we will be looking to introduce a communication network with other campsite operators, to improve the flow of information about capacities, availability and access."

An official press release outlined the plans to improve public transport to the event.

"In addition to increasing capacity and introducing a Friday service from existing Park and Ride locations, Silverstone is also reviewing new locations for the three-day service, including a supplementary site in Northampton for traffic arriving from the East, and Turweston for traffic from the West," it read. "Silverstone is also improving shuttle services for race goers travelling to the event by train. A regular shuttle service will be in operation on all three days of the British Grand Prix from local major railway stations at Milton Keynes, Northampton and Banbury. Similarly, Megabus will operate a coach travel service on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the event from major UK towns and cities, including London, Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Nottingham, Cambridge, Portsmouth and Cardiff."

The circuit also confirmed that the 10,000 ticket holders that stayed away have now been refunded at a cost of £1 million.

"Given the extreme weather conditions and position we found ourselves in on the Friday, I don't think race day could have gone much better," Phillips added. "The sun shone, we had a great race and I'm delighted that we were able to get more than 127,000 people in and out of the circuit safely.

"We are confident that we won't see a repeat of the events of this year. Tickets for next year's British Grand Prix are selling reasonably well and we're already looking forward to what will be a fantastic three days of world class F1 action and entertainment."