The law could be changed to allow competitive motor sport to take place on public roads due to a possible change in legislation which recently entered the consultation stage. The amendment to the Road Traffic Act could give local authorities the power to suspend speed limits and applicable road regulations, to be temporarily replaced with motor sport regulations.
It is currently possible to close roads, but not to suspend the Road Traffic Act.
As well as parades through city centres, the changes would allow events such as the Kop Hill Climb to allow non-road-legal competition cars to participate.
In order for the consultation to show the true weight of feeling from the automotive community, the Motor Sports Association is calling on all enthusiasts to respond to Government and lend their support to the campaign.
Ben Cussons, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club Motoring Committee, said: "This is genuinely a once in a lifetime opportunity to change the law – we must not lose the chance."
The Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland all presently allow motor sport events to take place on public roads.
In order to show your support for the proposed amendment, which is getting loads of support from the classic community, simply copy the following text and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Re: Proposal to Authorise Motor Sport Events on Public Roads Consultation
Q1. Do you agree with the proposal to give local authorities the powers to allow motor sport events on public roads subject to the local consultation? If you disagree please give reasons.
Answer: Yes I agree. The UK leads the world in terms of motor sport with the industry generating an estimated £9bn for the economy annually and employing 41,000 people in 4,300 companies. Yet the UK lags behind much of the rest of the world, including the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland, in not allowing motor sport events to take place on closed public roads.
Allowing motor sport events to be held on closed public roads will provide an economic boost to host communities; support the growth of UK motor sport and the associated industry; allow engaging events to be created; and create a valuable platform for taking road safety messaging to the wider public.
Q2. Do you agree that local authorities should be able to close roads for motor sport events? If you disagree please give reasons.
Answer: Yes I agree. Empowering local authorities to be able to close roads for motor sport events would represent a positive devolution of power. It will mean that local people, rather than politicians in Westminster, will be able to determine what happens on the roads in their region and will ensure that Parliament does not need to spend its valuable time debating whether or not to close a road somewhere in the country. It is an important principle that no organisation other than the Local Authority should be granted powers to close its roads, as this ensures that no event can be forced upon a region against the will of the locally elected Authority.
Q3. Do you agree that local authorities should have the power under certain circumstances to suspend the speed limit and applicable road traffic regulations? If there are any traffic regulations you would prefer not to see suspended, please give reasons.
Answer: Yes, I agree that local authorities should have the power under certain circumstances to suspend the speed limit and applicable road traffic regulations. This is on the understanding that the road traffic regulations are replaced by established and robust sporting regulations, as laid down by the MSA and ACU, to ensure that all events are well organised, properly regulated and fully insured.
Q4. Do you agree that the Motor Sports Association and the Auto Cycle Union should be the “Authorising Authority” for any motor sport events on public roads?
Answer: Yes I agree. The Motor Sports Association (MSA) and the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU) both have many decades of experience of governing four- and two-wheel motor sport in the UK. The MSA is recognised by motor sport’s world governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), as the sole national sporting authority for four-wheel motor sport in the UK. The ACU is similarly recognised by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) as the national sporting authority for two-wheel motor sport in the British Isles. They are the only organisations with the experience, knowledge and resources necessary to act as the Authorising Authorities for any motor sport events on public roads.
With the MSA and ACU as Authorising Authorities, only drivers and riders who have been formally licensed for competition by the governing bodies would be eligible to take part in motor sport events on closed public roads. The MSA and ACU licensing structures are suitably robust and rigorously enforced to ensure that licensed competitors are suitably competent to take part in the motor sport events they enter.
Q5. Do you agree that the Sports Ground Safety Authority could provide valuable expertise and guidance to ensure motor sport events on roads can be delivered safely?
Answer: No, I doubt that the SGSA would be able to add value in this environment. Both the Motor Sports Association (MSA) and the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU) operate comprehensive, long-established and successful risk management programmes for four- and two-wheel motor sport respectively.
Motor sport is a unique and complex sporting activity and requires specific experience and expertise to deal with its diverse events and venues, and especially to manage the risks associated with vehicles travelling at speed which is unique to our sport.
It seems unlikely that the SGSA would be able to offer anything valuable in this context over and above the experts from the MSA and ACU, other than perhaps the facilitation of a forum for liaison with the necessary statutory bodies.
Furthermore, the involvement of another body simply introduces an additional layer of bureaucracy that inevitably adds costs to organisers and competitors alike.