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New Opportunities for Public Sprint Events?

Government plans to scrap ban on racing on public roads.

Closed once a year to form the start for the ‘Great North Run’ Newcastle’s Central Motorway has  several infrastructural attributes that could make it exactly the kind of ‘venue’ suited to a large scale public motorcycle (and or car) sprint meeting.

It’s with some interest that we learnt this week that the government is considering overturning complex rules that prevent motor racing events taking place on public roads.  They conservatively estimate that the lifting of the ban would raise some 40 million pounds over the space of five years (across the breadth of motorsport disciplines).

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When you look at the enduring and growing popularity of events like the Brighton Speed Trials (which it may surprise some readers to learn - actually takes place on a private road) this has to be good news for participants, the public and local economies alike. Taking my own position as a simple example, the annual trip to Brighton normally involves £200+ pounds for a weekend’s accommodation, £75 or more spent locally on food and drink, a tank of fuel purchased in Brighton and the cost of any shopping that my wife does while i have my fun riding...all money that wouldn’t fill local coffers were the event not to take place (Ed).

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What follows is an abridged copy (with a link to the original full BBC version) of the article. If you have any great ideas for the ultimate road for a sprint? let us know and we’ll paste them below.


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“Today, (5th October 2010) the UK government announced that rules barring motor races on public roads across Britain may be eased by the new government.

Many people think that the World’s oldest  continuously running Motor Racing event, the Brighton Speed Trials, is held on a public road. In fact it’s a private road which was designed especially for speed events. It attracts on average 20,000 to 30,000 people who pay to come and watch each year  READ MORE HERE

The change would allow councils to hold races, or festivals, on city streets or on rural hill roads, a Conservative conference fringe meeting heard.

It could raise £40m for councils over five years and create jobs, were they allowed to stage them, it heard.

Conservative MP Ben Wallace said it was "bizarre" that the legal clause from the 1960s had not yet been axed. Mr Wallace, who is helping to set up an all-party parliamentary group, told the Motor Sports Association meeting it was a simple clause to change that would have no cost implications.

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Organisationally, things have changed a little since Phil Manzano used a ‘policeman’s legs’ to aid his final deceleration at the 1967 Zandvoort sprint - held on public roads in Holland - but the popularity with the crowds would remain  READ MORE HERE

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