Closed road motor sport gets go-ahead from Prime Minister

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The campaign for closed road motor sport chalked up a massive victory today after the Prime Minister revealed that local councils will be given the power to temporarily suspend the Road Traffic Act.

David Cameron made the announcement while on a tour of the Formula One Williams factory in Oxfordshire.

“I can announce today that we are going to enable more road races for GB motor sport,” he said. “We have a great tradition of motor sport in this country and today we are bringing British motor racing back to British roads.”

The announcement means that speed limits and traffic signals could be suspended during approved events as early as Spring 2015, and there are hopes that the decision will pave the way for events in the style of Monaco’s Monte-Carlo Grand Prix, which would currently fall foul of British law.

Local authorities already have the power to close roads for sporting events, such as the recent Tour de France, but are unable to suspend the Road Traffic Act.

The campaign has been backed by Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, as well as former Formula One Champion Jenson Button, who have long held a desire to organise a London Grand Prix.

However, Ecclestone seemed cautious: “The news is good, but I don’t know whether you’d have street racing because it’s not cheap to put on something that’s safe.”

“If they ever get it together then we’ll see what happens,” he added. “At least it’s a good sign, a step in the right direction.”

The new legislation could see a number of events revived, such as the Birmingham Superprix, a road race held in the centre of Birmingham from 1986-'90. A parliamentary bill was needed in order to for the meet to take place but, from Spring 2015, no such obstacles will be in place. It would also give the green light to organisers of historic events in the style of Italy's Mille Miglia, and could breathe new life into countless defunct historical trials.

The change is set to feature in the Deregulation Bill, which will be put in front of the Commons by Autumn this year.    

Comments

Tony13

 

This is very good news. The sort of motor-sport which has been missing for a long time is the amateur or professional driving his own car on a public road circuit or up a hill as fast as he or she can. Health and safety will be a bore but  no more than on a rally stage (sorry about the recent rally fatalities). Why not re-instate road hill climbs like Harting Hill: find a good long hill on an A- or B- road and let the fun begin. Run it under BRDC auspices with lots of inter-action between the cars and spectators a la Goodwood Festival of Speed. Keep Ecclestone well away from it: his anal approach to F1 means that the general public take last place to motor manufacturers, oil, sponsors, and the ultra-high-net-worth trash.

shaunroche

Totally agree Tony, it's great news!

For many years I have been visiting Belgian events such as the Ieper Rally and the Tour of Flanders which used to be on the HRCR rounds list and the amount of income they bring to the areas on the route is great to see. 

It would be great to see that type of event grace our roads such as they are in the rest of Europe and Ireland. 

I have no interest in a street F1 event if I'm honest and concur that from that point of view Bernie should be kept well away, but I would love to see rallying on our roads: there is a wealth of experience out there in Europe and we should tap into their experience to avoid events strangled by our great British take on health and safety. 

Bring it on and Local authorities,  please do your homework!

Markljones78

Hi, you might be interested in the Round the Houses Regularity (close to racing- no passing on corners!) that the Vintage Sports Car Club of Western Australia conducts at the country towns of Northam and Albany. The events celebrate the Round the Houses racing that happened in West Australia at many town s in the 30's - 60's. The events are sanctioned and observed by CAMS. The cars running in different classes are from open wheelers, 20-30's, 50's to 1975. The "track" is the main streets with Armco set up on corners - no hay bales any more! A hillclimb is also conducted on the day before the RTH events. As "regularity" you nominate a time that you will circulate at - many of us forget about being "regular" and within reason go for it. Accidents are rare and punished by instant exclusion and fines.
The following Youtube clips will give you an idea of what it's all about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=822QTMHGQF4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFPTzszkSzg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DlzMuSlnOM
I've been having great fun with a TR4 and an '85 BDR Catrham which is allowed because of its close similarity to '75 or earlier Caterham/Lotus versions.
Regards
Mark

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