Dutch GP plans to introduce car ban in latest sustainability push

Sam Cooper
Fans attending the Dutch Grand Prix. September 2021.

Fans walking past the merchandise stall at the Dutch Grand Prix. September 2021.

The organisers behind the Dutch Grand Prix say they will be cutting down on the number of cars allowed to travel to the circuit.

As part of an environmental push, the organisers will be encouraging race-going fans to take alternative travel methods in order to travel to Zandvoort in the north of the Netherlands.

The Zandvoort circuit is one of the most accessible tracks on the calendar and is just 43km (27 miles) away from the country’s capital Amsterdam.

As Formula 1, and the world in general, pays more attention to the ongoing climate crisis, the organisers behind the Dutch Grand Prix say they want to play their part by encouraging alternative, more green, methods of transport to get to the race.

According to Dutch outlet the NL Times, the creator of the event’s mobility plan, Roy Hirs, said they were “closing Zandvoort to cars.”

“We are largely closing Zandvoort to cars,” he said. “Only residents, and people who have permission, such as the staff of the Formula 1 organisation, are allowed to come by car.”

The Dutch publication reports that just 233 parking spaces will be available for special invitees, a decrease of five percent from last year.

Hirs also estimated that roughly a third of visitors will go to the circuit by bicycle or scooter, and a third by train. There will also be a train running to the circuit every five minutes during the grand prix weekend, as there was last year, and that due to its location, some fans will even be able to walk to the track.

Last year they also introduced a shuttle bus departing from the nearby Beverwijk but Hirs said that will not be going this year due to poor uptake.

“Only two percent of the visitors made use of it. Now that will be zero,” Hirs said.

Hirs said he was looking forward to seeing the “sea of orange” that will travel to the track by bike and was wary of too many people leaving at one time so said they have put on entertainment activities after the race to try and lower the amount of people leaving at any one time.

“I think that’s very nice [the fact the Dutch GP is focusing more on the environment]. Especially that ‘sea of ​​orange’ that rides through the dunes by bike is so beautiful to see.

“Of course there is only a certain discharge capacity, there cannot be more trains than is currently the case, but we will try to keep people as long as possible.”