Royal Ascot will pull in thousands of racegoers for the five-day racing extravaganza, with about 300,000 people descending on the town to make the most of its bars, restaurants and shops over the course of the week.
The event, which runs from Tuesday to Saturday, June 17- 21, brings a mixed reaction from both locals and businesses in the town.
During the week many locals stay away from their regular haunts while visitors from elsewhere confine themselves to all the facilities the racecourse has to offer.
Vince Maloney, joint owner of Maloney’s Budgens in High Street, says the event is not good for his business but recognises that it does support the bars and restaurants in the town.
The shop is even closing three hours early each day from next Thursday to Saturday as trade becomes so poor in the evening.
Mr Maloney said: “For me and my business Royal Ascot week is no good because locals will not come and shop here. The traffic and general congestion of the area keeps them away. I’ve been doing this for years and it’s the same. However, I do think it provides great business for the pubs, bars and restaurants which is good because I think they need that.”
Readers also took to the News’s Facebook page to voice
their opinions, with a mixed reaction about Royal Ascot.
Sunninghill resident Jonathan-Taylor Weiss said: “I hate it – it turns Ascot and the surrounding areas into London!”
Veronica Masey Gill agreed, saying it would be a nightmare for people who live in Ascot and Charlotte Hearn said she was “dreading the commute to work”. However, Patrick Cooper said: “It’s good because it will put Ascot on the map.”
Nick Smith, head of communications at the racecourse, said: “The highlight of our year, and Berkshire’s biggest sporting event, is now just around the corner. As always, the best horses will be on show and for this unique week in June, Ascot becomes the focus of the fashion world.
“Royal Ascot reflects our heritage like no other event in Britain and we hope that everyone living and working in the area is as proud to see our small village and great county showcased on the global stage as we are.”
There will be traffic management schemes in place during Royal Ascot.
Between 10.30am-noon each day Windsor Road will be one-way – with traffic only allowed to go southbound – from the 'Peanut’ roundabout (junction of Mounts Hill and A332 Sheet Street Road) and the roundabout next to Heatherwood Hospital.
Between 4.40-8pm, the one-way system will be reversed, with traffic heading in a northbound direction. On Ladies Day (Thursday, June 21), this may be extended to 8.30pm.
Between 4.40-8pm there will also be a one-way system in place in Winkfield Road northbound from Holloway’s Gate to Windsor Road.
For more information, seewww.rbwm.gov.uk/web/td_traffic_royal_ascot.htm