With a crowd of more than 340,000 spectators and more than 125,000 vehicles heading to the Formula 1 British Grand Prix this weekend, Highways England has come up with a winning formula to ease drivers’ journeys.
A one-way system will be introduced on the main A43 and extra traffic officers will be patrolling the area over the three days of the Grand Prix to cope with the huge numbers heading to the Silverstone circuit.
The sold-out event is expected to attract around 90,000 vehicles to use public parking at the Northamptonshire circuit and a further 21,000 the park and ride facility. In addition, 16,000 coaches are expected to arrive on site over the three days (12-14 July).
Highways England's emergency planning officer, Jamie Tomlin, said: “The British Grand Prix is the biggest date in the motor racing calendar so we have been working closely with Silverstone Race Circuit to try to ease traffic flow and get the tens of thousands of people to and from the event as smoothly and safely as possible.
“One of the key elements of the traffic management is operating a one-way system on the A43 which makes optimum use of the carriageways during peak times.
“We will have extra traffic officers and recovery resources on duty and patrolling the area to deal with any incidents as quickly as possible to keep the traffic moving.
“We would urge anyone attending the Grand Prix to leave plenty of time for their journeys and to follow the signs from the M1, M40 and on their car parking pass, rather than relying on sat navs.”
This year Highways England, which is responsible for running England’s motorways and major A roads, will also have a stand at the three-day event, taking important road safety messages to motorsport fans.
Alongside partners from the emergency services, Highways England staff will be giving road safety advice and promoting a new motorway safety campaign.
The campaign encourages drivers to remember the basics of motorway driving such as keeping to the left except when overtaking and to ‘follow the signs’ to keep everyone moving – that includes red X signs, which are used to close lanes, and variable speed limit signs, which help improve the flow of traffic and tackle stop-start conditions.
Richard Leonard, head of road safety at Highways England, said: “Highways England is committed to making our network safer for all road users and to keeping everyone moving – but we need motorists to play a part in that.
“We are asking drivers to remember the basics such as keeping to the left, not getting too close to the vehicle in front, following the signs and knowing what to do if your vehicle breaks down on the motorway.
“Anyone going along to Silverstone this weekend is invited to come along to our stand and find out more about Highways England and get some advice on safe motorway driving.”
The gates open to the general public at 7.30am on Friday (free practise) and Saturday (qualifying day). Razorlight will be performing on Friday evening and the following night Craig David presents T5.
On Sunday, gates open at 6.30am for the general public with the main race due shortly after 2pm. Soul II Soul perform after the race with gates closing at 8pm.
On-site parking for the weekend is now sold out so visitors are urged not to head for the car parks unless they have pre-booked.
On Sunday, from 6am until around 1pm, the A43 northbound will be one way from the B4525 interchange to Silverstone. The A43 southbound will be closed to through traffic at Silverstone.
From 2.30pm to about 8pm, the A43 southbound will be one way from Silverstone to the B4525 interchange while the A43 northbound will be one way from Silverstone to Abthorpe roundabout
For details of traffic management visit www.silverstone.co.uk/residents
For more information about the event, parking and timings visit www.silverstone.co.uk/events/2019-formula-1-british-grand-prix/
For the latest updates on traffic, Highways England provides live traffic information via its website,www.trafficengland.com or follow @HighwaysEMIDS on Twitter.