Formula 1’s French Grand Prix has a “good plan” to ensure it avoids a repeat of the traffic chaos that occurred at last year’s event, says Eric Boullier.

F1’s return to France in 2018 was marred by three days of traffic congestion problems getting in and out of Paul Ricard, leaving fans outraged after they were unable to reach the circuit due to hours of queues.

But former McLaren Racing Director Boullier - who now works as an advisor and ambassador for the French GP - is hopeful of a solution after race organisers linked up with a company that has assisted with a number of major sporting events, including golf’s Ryder Cup and the 2016 UEFA European Championship.

“The plan we have is good,” Boullier said.

“It has been dictated by data. We partnered with a company called Citec in Switzerland, which has world-class expertise in mobility plans for large events.

“They looked after the Ryder Cup in France last year, the 2016 UEFA European Championship and they are working with the Olympics for the 2024 Games in Paris.

“They took all of the data we had from last year and with that knowledge of how the traffic flowed, and where and when it was at its heaviest, they built simulations and came back with a plan.”

Boullier said a range of new traffic management initiatives will be put into place, including access to more public transport and enhanced traffic information through a real-time application.

“We have a new traffic management plan and we are working closely with the local authorities through a steering committee,” he explained.

“We have additional access points to the circuit without crossing streams of traffic, we will have 170 shuttles available to the general public with 4,000 Parking & Ride places and we have partnered with traffic app Waze who will dedicate some engineers to the grand prix so that we have real-time traffic information that can be accessed by everyone.

“We have to fix the issues we had last year – that’s a given. And if solve those problems and if we pass the second edition without mobility issues it will be forgotten.”

 

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