RAC Cars News


British Streets to Host Motor Racing

By raccars Published

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The idea of a Grand Prix motor race in London could soon become reality, as David Cameron has announced that local authorities will be allowed to host motor races on their streets. The Prime Minister revealed the news at a speech he made while opening a new Williams F1 team factory in Oxfordshire, praising Britain's fine motor sport tradition.

Under current regulations, an Act of Parliament suspending the Road Traffic Act must take place for roads to be closed for motor racing. While local councils can authorise a variety of sports and leisure events, they are unable to circumvent speed limit, vehicle roadworthiness and traffic signal regulations. Under the new plans, councils all over the country will be given the power to close roads and remove speed limits to allow motor racing to take place, as long as sufficient considerations are given to safety requirements.

David Cameron also commented upon the beneficial effect to both the UK and local economies of supporting the country's motor sport industry. It is believed that communities where motor sport events are held could potentially earn £40 million in five years and the Prime Minister cited the government's support of the growing motor racing industry as part of a long term economic programme.

The recent staging of this year's Tour de France three stage race in the UK was given as an example of the country's enthusiasm for road racing, with turnout at the event thought to have topped 3.5 million spectators. Some 20 major motor sporting events could be held in British streets every year, according to industry experts.

The new legislation means one of these could be the much talked about London Grand Prix, taking place on the capital's streets as is done in Monaco. F1 cars could fly down The Mall, traversing Parliament Square and speed past Buckingham Palace. F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, has been an open supporter of the idea.

The British and World Touring Car Championships could in future take place on UK city roads in the style of the Birmingham Superprix races, held from 1986-1991. The country roads of Wales or even the streets of Cardiff could one day host the Welsh Rally GB.

There is also hope that local motor racing clubs could hold independent sprint and rally races, helping to further increase the popularity of motor racing in Britain and attract visitors to the areas in question.

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