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  Tuesday, 10 July, 2001, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
Silverstone tackles problems
Formula One fans trek through the mud to reach Silverstone
Fans had to wade through mud to reach the track
Silverstone officials are hoping a 1m investment will avoid a repeat of the chaotic scenes at last year's British Grand Prix.

Poor weather conditions, traffic jams and parking problems plagued last year's race, with fans wading through deep mud just to get to the circuit.

Torrential rain flooded the car parks, forcing Silverstone management to take the unprecedented step of banning spectators' cars on the Saturday.

Race day saw queues of up to 18 miles on the A43 as thousands of fans were stuck in static traffic jams attempting to reach the track.


We are confident that the car parks will be dry and robust as they had been for most of the 50 years before last year's event
Silverstone chief Rob Bain

Not only was the debacle an embarrassment to race organisers, it also cost the Northamptonshire track millions of pounds in lost revenue.

However, money has now been spent over the winter improving access to the track, while extra turf reinforcements have bolstered the flood-prone parking areas.

Rob Bain, chief executive of Octagon Motorsport, which now manages the circuit, said: "Our priority has been to make considerable improvements to short-term parking and traffic flow.

"We have widened gateway entrances and improved road approach angles, laid six kilometres of new access roads and installed 660,000sq ft of reinforced meshing for car parks.

"The team at Silverstone have worked around the clock and despite the fact that it has been the wettest winter since 1766 and there has been the added time-pressure created by foot-and-mouth.

"We are confident that the car parks will be dry and robust as they had been for most of the 50 years before last year's event."

Car parking restrictions will limit the number of cars this year, while work has finally begun on the long-awaited dual-carriageway to link the M1 and M42 which should be ready by 2003.

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20 Jun 01 | Formula One
20 Jun 01 | Formula One
20 Jun 01 | AudioVideo
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