UK & World News

  • 11 July 2014, 19:08

Motor Racing On UK's Streets A Big Step Closer

Councils are to be given powers to stage motor races on public roads, it has been revealed.

Downing Street said legislation would be introduced this year to allow speed limits to be lifted and competitive events held.

Such races - including the Birmingham Superprix between 1986 and 1990 - have previously required specific permission from parliament.

David Cameron hailed the decision as he opened the new Williams F1 engineering facility in Oxfordshire.

"We're going to change the rules so that local councils are able to make decisions, so you don't have to have a private member's bill through parliament," he said.

"We think (this will be) great news British motorsport. More races, more events, more money coming into our country and more success for this extraordinary industry."

The change, which follows a consultation earlier this year, brings the prospect of a Monaco-style Grand Prix on the streets of London closer.

Legislation will be added to the Deregulation Bill in the autumn, and could be in force before the general election next year.

The Prime Minister's spokesman said local authorities would have to consult with local people and ensure all necessary safety precautions were in place.

"We have seen in recent years a great number of successful sporting events here in the UK, of various sizes," the spokesman said.

"Alongside that I think this country has a long tradition ... of engineering excellence, particularly in motor sport."

It comes after the country hosted the first three stages of the Tour de France this month, which attracted around six million spectators and is estimated to contributed more than 100m to the economy,

Martin Hone, the organiser of the original Birmingham Superprix, had previously called on the city's leaders to show "political will" to secure the event's return.

"I still have the energy and vitality and would love to do it," he told the Birmingham Mail.

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