Special road measures in place for British Grand Prix weekend

Silverstone Grand Prix traffic, library picture
Silverstone Grand Prix traffic, library picture

With the British Grand Prix coming to Silverstone this weekend, local people are being reminded of road closures, diversions and potential delays to their journeys.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to arrive in the area over the three days of the event, requiring special road measures to be put in place.

Special traffic arrangements will be in place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and the A43 from Towcester to Brackley will be closed to through traffic from 5am to 9pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The main diversion route for non-event traffic will be from on the A421 to Buckingham, then the A422 to the A5 north of Milton Keynes, and then the A508 to the M1 at junction 15.

Steve Parker, emergency planning officer for Highways England in the East Midlands, said: “About 315,000 people are expected to attend over the course of the three days and while Highways England does all we can to alleviate congestion and keep the traffic flowing, obviously it will be busier than normal in this area.

“We have a lot of experience of handling events like this and have tried and tested systems in place. We work with our emergency service colleagues to ensure those heading for the event get there with minimum fuss and delays.

“Motorists not planning to attend the grand prix should plan ahead and leave extra time and check our twitter feeds and website for the latest information to ease their journeys over that weekend.”

Superintendent Mick Stamper, who is leading the policing over the weekend, said: “Improvements to the road network around Silverstone have reduced delays to a minimum; however, motorists should still allow additional time for journeys to and from both Silverstone and the neighbouring area during the grand prix weekend.

“I would urge all those driving to the events to pay particular attention to direction signs on the major roads.”

South Northamptonshire Council is warning visitors to the grand prix to be careful about what taxi they use.

Those travelling by taxi are being urged to only use specially licensed vehicles with a unique licence plate, and displaying a yellow ‘taxi’ sign on the front windscreen.

These will be issued by South Northamptonshire Council to those vehicles that are allowed to pick up passengers without having been pre-booked.

There will be a taxi and private-hire vehicle dropping-off and pick-up points on the Brackley Road in Silverstone village for people travelling to the grand prix.

Any other vehicles in the area are either illegally plying for hire or waiting for a customer who has pre-booked a journey.

Notices in the vicinity will advise taxi drivers that ‘test purchases’ will be carried out and those found to be committing an offence will be prosecuted.

Cllr Dermot Bambridge, portfolio holder for environmental services, said: “We want to encourage safe travel during the grand prix weekend, but also allow local drivers to make the most of the business generated.

“We advise visitors to use either the specially licensed vehicles or any other pre-booked vehicle.

“Using any other taxi or private hire vehicle without a booking may mean the driver will be uninsured and that the vehicle may have not been subject to stringent safety checks.”