Students investigate accessibility and hospitality Formula 1 at Zandvoort

17 May 2019

The Municipality of Zandvoort is going to cooperate with Breda University of Applied Sciences. In the coming academic year, seventeen students will start their minor programme People and Goods on the Move. They will be doing research into all sorts of challenges playing a role during the Formula 1 races.

The return of the Grand Prix to the Zandvoort circuit will have a big impact on its entire surroundings. The students will map out the target groups of this event and their needs, and seek to find solutions to  challenges in the field of accessibility, sustainability and hospitality.

All roads lead to Zandvoort

In the coming three years, the Zandvoort Circuit will be the operating base for the biggest racing event. The Formula 1 circus will descend on Zandvoort under the name Formula 1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix. No less than 150,000 to 200,000 – partly foreign – visitors will show up in May 2020. How will you get all these visitors to the circuit in time, and how can you give them a wonderful Formula 1 experience? To prevent access roads to Zandvoort from being jammed, the organisers have announced that they want to have racing fans travel to the event by public transport as much as possible. But can Dutch Railways (NS), buses and coaches cope with these huge crowds? “Our students are going to tackle this issue and all sorts of other issues,” says Jeroen Weppner, who is closely involved in designing the minor programme as a teacher-researcher. “By bringing students from various degree programmes together, we could come to an integrated vision in the field of accessibility, hospitality, leisure and sustainability. I fully trust that our students will make a valuable contribution to a special event, so that everything will run successfully.”

Insight into safety risks

The Grand Prix will be held in a festival setting that offers activities for the whole family. The visitor flow this will lead to will pose some challenges for the organisers, for example in the field of ensuring safety. “And the enormous need for accommodation will play a major role,” says Weppner. “The demand for hotel rooms at Zandvoort and surroundings will soon show an upward trend. The question is where visitors can be put up, and how they could find accommodation that is evenly spread over the region as well as possible,” he says. Furthermore, the people living in the neighbourhood worry about noise nuisance and air pollution that the race could cause. “An important part of the investigation will be different forms of sustainability. Our students will be offered the challenge to develop the most sustainable Formula 1 race. This may be substantiated in various ways, for example by placing sufficient facilities to separate waste, electric transportation and making bicycles and other solutions available in the field of ‘cycling intelligence’. The main thing is that the Formula 1 races will be an unforgettable event that anyone can enjoy.”