ORGANISERS of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club are introducing a park and ride scheme in a bid to ease congestion on local roads.
This will be the first time such a system has been introduced for the prestigious tournament, which will attract the top European players and more than 90,000 spectators over the course of the event.
For the practice day and four competition days, Wednesday, May 22, to Sunday, May 26, there will be two park and ride sites in operation - one in Sunningdale, at the junction of the A329 and A30, and the other at the Review Ground, Windsor Great Park.
Parking has been reduced at and around Wentworth for spectators and anyone who has not ordered a parking badge in advance will not be allowed to take their vehicle into Wentworth Golf Club and will be directed to one of the park and ride sites. Pre-paid spaces for the Friday to Sunday of the tournament have sold out.
The European Tour, which organises the BMW PGA Championship, is keen to be a good neighbour and reduce the impact of the tournament on residents in the area.
Jamie Birkmyre, championship director, said: "The BMW PGA Championship has grown considerably in stature, and in terms of visitor numbers, in recent years. Consequently, we felt it was imperative to simplify the means of getting spectators to and from the course and all the facilities in order to appreciate everything the championship has to offer."
There will be free bus shuttle services between the two park and ride sites and Wentworth Golf Club.
The Sunningdale site, taking 2,000 cars, will serve spectators coming from the west (M4 and M3), and Windsor Great Park has space for 25,000 vehicles coming from the east, including the M25.
The free shuttle will run every five minutes and take about 10 minutes to get to Wentworth Golf Club. Organisers estimate that half the spectators at the BMW PGA Championship will use the two park and ride sites.
There will also be a free bus service running in a continuous loop between Virginia Water railway station and Wentworth to also try to reduce the number of people driving.