In an earlier musing I looked at the possibilities of being a green racegoer and the feasibility of using public transport to go racing.
The conclusion was, although possible, it is not always practicable and, inevitably, going by car ends up being the most viable option.
I was thinking about the cons of driving to racecourses when I was sitting in a queue of gridlocked traffic whilst attempting to get out of the car park at Fontwell yesterday. (I should add that I am not picking on Fontwell here, there are many courses with the same or even worse issues)
At almost every racecourse there is a veritable army of traffic marshals directing traffic into the car parks and woe betide anyone who dares to defy their orders.
Yet when racing is over and everyone is attempting to leave at the same time, these very marshals become an endangered species.
Indeed at most courses they become extinct, leaving a massive free for all, which adds to the congestion and leads to frayed tempers. Of course the situation is exacerbated by those ignorant people who seem to think they should be excused from queuing with everyone else and try to make their way to the exit using any means possible, causing a funnel effect and effectively stopping everyone getting out.
I have lost count of the number of “discussions” I have had with such drivers, who seem to take exception to the fact I will not allow them to force their way in front of me. Lest I be accused of being selfish myself, I am more than happy to go along with the “alternate merge” principle where two lanes merge into one. I do draw the line at these drivers who take a circuitous route from the far end of the car park and then try to force their way into a line, where drivers have been patiently queuing, sometimes for up to an hour.
It seems that most courses take the attitude that once we get the punters in and take their money that is it. They don’t care about the racegoers when they leave as there is no more money to be made from them.
I’m not going to put all courses in the same category as there are some who have excellent traffic management systems in place when leaving the course.
The best being Newmarket who funnel cars into roped off lanes, thus addressing those drivers who feel a need to push in, and then have plenty of stewards directing traffic to ensure traffic merges freely.
Honourable mentions should also be given to both Exeter and Newton Abbot, both of which have excellent stewarding.
If some courses can provide efficient exit stewarding, why can’t others.
Note the absence of a question mark in the previous question, it was of course a rhetorical question, as we all know the answer is to save money.
It is not acceptable and it is a shabby way to treat customers. If expense really is an issue, then charge for parking and use that income to pay for proper stewarding both before and after racing.
If the behaviour of some drivers is enough to make my blood boil, then the state of some car parks is something else.
But that is for another day!!!