Bouillier ‘comfortable’ French GP has solved traffic issues

French Grand Prix strategic advisor Eric Boullier says organisers are relying on an “analytical” approach to traffic management to avoid the massive congestion that impacted race fans in 2018.

The French event returned to the F1 calendar last year after a decade-long absence, and it was memorable come-back for thousands of spectators albeit for the wrong reasons.

Fans were thrilled to return to the Circuit Paul Ricard until they found themselves stranded in their cars on the backroads leading to the track in the blistering heat.

Despite the implementation of emergency contingency plans, the traffic jams persisted over the course of all three days and led many to either miss the day’s action or turn away and head back home.

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To help prevent a repeat of the huge problems that impacted the attendance of last year’s event, organisers have enlisted the help of CITEC, a company that handled traffic management for football’s Euro 2016 and Golf’s Ryder Cup, while smart phone app Waze will also be involved in optimizing next week’s influx of traffic.

“The approach to traffic management was very analytical,” the former McLaren racing director told Formula1.com.

“Together with CITEC, we sat down with the local authorities and the police to work out a plan. We have now support in place, such as the deal with Waze, better signage and park and ride schemes.

“The aim has been to reduce the number of cars on the road but also control the flow.

“Car parks are free now, so you don’t have to come in from Marseille, for example, and cross the track to get to the other side to park, therefore creating traffic. You can use any.

“We are managing the roads differently, too, multiplying the traffic flow capacity by three. All these things make us 100 percent comfortable we will be better off this year.”

Off-track entertainment over the French Grand Prix race weekend will be provided by a trio of DJs: Mistral, Bob Sinclar and Martin Solveig.

“The theme around this year’s race is music,” said Boullier.

“It will be a proper French Riviera experience and a great weekend for fans.”

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