British GP public car park pass holders told to stay away on Saturday
|By Edd Straw and Simon Strang||Friday, July 6th 2012, 19:58 GMT|
Silverstone has 'strongly advised' fans holding public car park passes for the British Grand Prix to stay away on Saturday because of the on-going traffic chaos caused by unprecedented levels of rain.
While those who have pre-allocated park-and-ride passes will be able to attend as planned - as well as those already in camp sites or within walking distance - Silverstone managing director Richard Phillips warned that fans with public passes may be turned away.
The move has been made to protect the grass car parks in the hope that there will be no such restrictions in place for race day, after significant traffic problems on Friday led to many fans not being able to get into the circuit.
It is estimated that as many as 30,000 fans could be affected by this decision.
"We are strongly advising anyone with a public parking ticket not to come [on Saturday]," said Phillips.
"What we can do tomorrow is accept people that are in park and ride. People who are camping or who can walk in are fine. There are a lot of categories and paddock-ticketed people that go into the centre and will be fine to get in.
"There will come a point [tomorrow] - and that's why I am dissuading people now - where we will probably stop the traffic on the Dadford Road [the A43] and push them straight through past the circuit. And I don't want to do that.
"The people that didn't get in today, we are offering refunds to and anybody that doesn't get in tomorrow will get a refund."
Phillips blamed the problems that arose today on the rain, which led to grass car parks that had not been intended for use on Friday being opened.
With numerous vehicles unable to gain access to camp sites, the decision was taken not to use the car parks on Saturday so that they will be fit for Sunday.
"Yesterday, we had quite a good day with the sun shining," said Phillips. "The car parks were in a reasonable condition and we announced that we were going to go to an amber situation just in case and use the hard standing car parks if we could and keep off the grass.
"What happened today is with the rain also came a lot of campers that didn't come in yesterday. They didn't come in to camp because of the wet weather, they came in caravans and Winnebagos and couldn't get into the campsites as the campsites were waterlogged and wouldn't let them in. So they were being turned away.
"We tried to accommodate as many as we possibly could but the damage was started by then. We had to abandon just parking on hard standing because we just had to get traffic in as best we could.
"We broke into a lot of the grass car parks. As a result of that, we have basically lost 50 per cent of our parking."
Phillips underlined his hope that these measures would allow all those holding tickets for Sunday's race to attend, but could not guarantee that this would be the case.
"I am not sure at all," he said. "I would have to see where we are tomorrow and we may have to have another chat tomorrow about Sunday.
"At the moment we have to do our damndest to make sure that people that do come tomorrow are looked over the best we can and on Sunday hopefully everybody [will be]."
For further information if you are planning to travel to the British Grand Prix, visit www.silverstone.co.uk