Silverstone introduces raft of traffic and transport measures for 2013 British Grand Prix

Listen to this article

Silverstone has revealed that it is implementing a range of measures to avoid weather-related issues that dogged the British Grand Prix this year.

Silverstone is investing in the venue’s infrastructure, as well as increasing travel options for fans attending future British Grand Prix events.

Announcing plans for 2013, managing director of Silverstone Circuits Limited Richard Phillips, said: “For more than 10 years now, fans have had little or no issue getting in and out of the circuit for the British Grand Prix, so it’s important to keep the problems of this year in perspective. That said, the traffic issues on the Friday of this year’s event, and having to ask a number of fans to stay away on the Saturday, were far from ideal. We have learned from this year’s experience and are taking steps to ensure we’re better equipped to deal with whatever the weather may throw at us in future.”

For the 2013 Formula 1 British Grand Prix, Silverstone will be expanding its park and ride operation to run on all three days of 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.

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.

Silverstone is also investing time and money to improve the non-tarmacked car parks on site  – 40 per cent of Silverstone’s car parks are already hard standing, but it is not feasible to tarmac the circuit’s grass car parks, for both financial and environmental reasons. Work is being carried out throughout the winter to improve drainage and water displacement systems, so that in the event of significant rainfall these areas are more robust.

The official ‘Silverstone Woodlands’ campsite is also being increased in size by 70 acres, to provide fans with an improved experience. In the event of bad weather the density of plots will be reduced and there will also be better segregation between the ‘lively’ and ‘family’ areas of the campsite.

Added Phillips: “In 2001 approximately 18,000 fans attended on the Friday of the Grand Prix, which was relatively easy to manage. However, our three-day ticket and entertainment package has become more and more popular and we are now seeing attendance figures exceed 80,000 on a Friday. We have been able to accommodate these numbers in the past, but this year’s torrential weather, waterlogged campsites and saturated car parks created a ‘perfect storm’ of unforeseeable issues, to which we were having to react throughout a difficult and challenging day. Ironically, prior to this year’s Grand Prix we had identified the need, and had been working on plans, to start reducing the number of people driving to the event. It will take time to change the mind-set of fans, but we need to ensure that public transport is available as a comfortable and reliable option. Park and Ride has been a popular transport option and has worked well; this is one of the areas we will be building on for 2013.”