Silverstone reveals plans it will put in place to avoid repeat of 2012 travel chaos
Expanded park & ride scheme and improved car parks among changes
By James Galloway. Last Updated: 04/12/12 2:35pm
Silverstone: Experienced long tailbacks on the Friday of this July's race
Silverstone has announced improvements to its traffic management scheme and infrastructure in a bid to avoid a repeat of the travel chaos caused by heavy rain at this year's British Grand Prix.
A period of persistent wet weather in the build-up to July's showpiece event, and throughout the opening two days of the meeting, caused campsites and grass car parks to become waterlogged, whilst surrounding roads became gridlocked.
This led to the unprecedented step of advising ticket holders with passes for the car parks to stay away from Saturday's qualifying session so organisers could repair the ground in preparation for arrivals on race day.
Silverstone had promised to roll out improvements for 2013 and on Tuesday announced the changes that will be put in place for next summer's event.
The Park and Ride scheme will be expanded and for the first time run over all three days of the grand prix weekend, shuttle services from local train stations will also be increased while investment will also be made in improving the venue's non-tarmacked car parks.
Silverstone's official Woodlands campsite will also be increased by 70 acres in order to provide a better fan experience and a holding area for cars away from the main roads.
Richard Phillips, Silverstone Circuits Managing Director, 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."
Although 10,000 ticket holders didn't attend on the Friday and Saturday - which Silverstone has now confirmed cost the venue £1 million in refund claims - a record crowd still turned up on race day and Phillips is confident the full three days will run more smoothly in 2013.
"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," said Phillips.
"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."