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  Sunday, 15 July, 2001, 22:01 GMT 23:01 UK
British GP bosses claim success
Silverstone
Silverstone suffered problems off track last year
By BBC Sport Online's Andrew Benson at Silverstone.

The organisers of the British Grand Prix have claimed success in their attempts to solve the traffic problems at Silverstone.

The boss of Octagon, the company that has taken over the running of the event for the next 15 years, claims that access to the circuit was better than ever before.

Octagon chief executive officer Ron Bain said: "We are very pleased with how things are going so far this weekend, although the real test will obviously come tonight on how quickly we can get the cars out.

"Exit times on Friday and Saturday night were 40-45 minutes better than we have ever achieved here, so I think the one-way systems are working.

"Entry times on Sunday morning seem to have improved on previous years with average speeds on the A43 [the main access road to the track] from a mile away of 6mph.

"That is double what we have achieved in the past."

Clogged routes

However, far from every visitor to the circuit enjoyed the trouble-free trip to Silverstone suggested by the track.

Even at 0630 BST, several routes into the circuit were as clogged as they have been for the last 10 years, while others did run cleaner than before.

It took some people nearly an hour to cover the last four miles to the circuit.

There was a lot at stake for Silverstone after last year¿s event had degenerated into a fiasco.

Heavy rain turned the car parks into quagmires to such an extent that cars were banned for Saturday's official qualifying day.

And race-day queues were as much as five hours long.

Silverstone had worked hard to ensure that the car parks did not turn into quagmires in the event of similarly bad weather.

According to an Octagon statement, the circuit laid two-thirds of a million square feet of reinforced mesh in car parks, constructed nearly four miles of on-site roads and widened gateways.

The statement said that the work cost "around £1m".

But although it did rain over the weekend, it was only heavy for a short period on Saturday morning, so the limits of the new measures were not tested.

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