AUGUST 22, 2005
Trafficking in Turkey
The Turkish Grand Prix was a great success, with a huge crowd, despite the high costs for spectators, and a big boost for the country's tourist trade. Profiteering from the race did not seem to be too bad in Istanbul, unlike some of the other venues were all prices are hiked dramatically when the F1 circus comes to town.
The only problem of any note was the traffic management en route ton the track was a not a great success. Although the roads to and from the circuit are perfectly acceptable, the presence of toll gates along the route from downtown Istanbul, caused massive delays throughout the race weekend as thousands of cars tried to squeeze through the tolls.
Reports on Sunday afternoon indicated that thousands of people spent up to four hours in the jams trying to get to the track and that the blockages stretched for many miles. Eventually some fans began to abandon their cars as the start of the race neared and went on foot to the track. Security was tight because of fears of terrorism and because of the presence of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.
It is unlikely that we will hear much about the traffic problems in Turkey because the F1 authorities are keen to be in Turkey but it does seem a little unfair when one considers the amount of criticism that Silverstone has suffered over the years because of traffic problems.
The Turks say that the problem will be addressed next year and given what they have done up to this point, one must assume that traffic will not be a problem in 2006.
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