Closed-road racing made legal in the UK

Published: 11 July 2014

A London Grand Prix on closed streets or even a Pikes Peak style hill-climb in the Lake District could now by possible after the Government approved plans to allow motorsport events on public roads.

It is hoped that the decision to allow staged rallies, hill climbs and trials of speed on closed-road street circuits will give the country’s motorsport industry a jump start.
 
Prime minister David Cameron made the announcement today while touring the new Formula One Williams factory in Oxfordshire.

The road-race is on: UK restrictions lifted 

Mr Cameron said the move would support jobs, enhance skills and help build a more resilient economy.

He added: ‘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.’

There are already about 9000 motorsport events in the UK each year, taking place on purpose-built tracks or off-road locations.

Is there enough demand for road-racing?

It is estimated that there could be enough demand for up to 20 significant motor sport events on roads around Britain each year.

Local councils are already able to close roads for sport or leisure events, but the new law will mean roads can now be closed for a motor race.

Crucially, the Road Traffic Act, which requires vehicles to be road-legal and adhere to speed limits and traffic signals, can be suspended.

See our list of famous road-races held around the world below.

On the road again: 7 of the best closed-road street races:

1. Mille Miglia – 1000 miles of winding Italian roads, won by Brit legend Stirling Moss, driving a Mercedes Benz 300 SLR in 1955.

Mille Miglia

2. Isle of Man TT – incredible speeds, tight bends and even a number of deaths. The appeal of the TT has endured them all.

Isle of Man TT

3. Le Man 24 hours – when it’s not being used for the iconic endurance race, the Mulsanne Straight is known simply as the D338.

Le Mans

4. Monaco Grand Prix – perhaps the most famous GP circuit, which threads its way through the tight streets of the playground of the rich and famous.

Monaco Grand Prix

5.Monte Carlo Rally – Monaco’s premier off-road event features a road section known as the Col de Turini, where spectators thrown snow on the tarmac if there isn’t enough on it.

Monte Carlo

6. Pikes Peak Hill Climb – this race to the clouds should really be called a mountain climb, not a hill climb.

Pikes Peak

7. Mount Panorama, Motor Racing Circuit Bathurst – another relentless mountain track, this time home to a 1000km endurance race. It is technically a street circuit as it is open when not being used for a race.

Bathurst


 

By Adam Binnie

Bauer Automotive's new cars editor; likes bikes and burgers, often over-tyred

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