Local communities can now stage motor sport events more easily, thanks to a change in the law.
The government will make it easier for local communities to close roads for motor sports events, it has been announced. New legislation will give authorities the power to turn roads into race tracks, providing appropriate safety measures have been undertaken.
Prime Minister David Cameron said the move would help the UK community to the tune of £40 million over the next five years.
A council was unable to close a road for the purpose of a motor race and suspend the Road Traffic Act prior to the new laws. This meant speed limits, traffic signals and road-legal requirements had to remain in force. Not much of a race if you are stuck at 30mph and race machines are disqualified, is it?
Prime Minister David Cameron believes there could be demand for up to 20 “significant motor sports events on roads” in Britain every year. 9,000 motor sport events take place annually.
“We have a great tradition of motorsport in this country and today we are bringing British motor racing back to British roads, to benefit local communities. As part of our long-term economic plan, we are backing our world-leading motorsport industry to support jobs, enhance skills and help us to build a more resilient economy,” Cameron said.
“Motor sport has a huge following in the UK. These changes will provide more opportunities for fans to enjoy the sport locally and give a financial boost to local economies through the added benefits of tourism, shopping and spending,” Culture Secretary Sajid Javid added.
Now local councils have the power to do road races properly, we’ve put our thinking caps on. How about a hill climb up Cheddar Gorge? Drag race past Big Ben? Formula One on country roads? That last one would give Le Mans and the TT bike race a run for their money.