The Dutch seaside resort of Zandvoort has been largely closed off to car traffic from Thursday morning ahead of this weekend’s Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Only people with a permit, the emergency services, and local businesses will be able to drive to the town until 11 pm on Sunday night, when the weekend’s festivities have ended.
The main sea road from Overveen will be closed from 8 pm on Thursday, giving people the chance to have one more day at the beach. The Zandvoort race track itself opens its doors at 8 am on Friday morning for the first training sessions.
The local council expects over 100,000 visitors to come to the circuit on each day of the event and is calling on people to walk, cycle or use public transport. There will be a direct train to Zandvoort from Amsterdam’s main railway station every five minutes during the race weekend.
Meanwhile, furious taxi drivers in Haarlem are threatening to set up their own blockade after discovering a company from outside the area has been given permits to provide taxi services over the weekend.
The firm managed to get enough commitments from Zandvoort’s beach bars to enable it to apply for permits to operate and has successfully applied for a parking permit, the Telegraaf reported on Wednesday.
The AD puts the total cost of staging the Grand Prix at heading towards €80 million and points out that the event is largely self-supporting.
Apart from Silverstone in England, the Zandvoort race is the only one without national government subsidies, and just a modest amount from the town council itself, the paper said.
Six family firms – Heineken, PON, VolkerWessels, 538, CM.com and Jumbo – are responsible for running the event, from the catering and ticketing to the entertainment, the paper says.
Car firm PON, for example, is responsible for the special bikes, while VolkerWessels builds the stands and takes care of the infrastructure.