Plan for motorsport on public roads

First published in National News © by

Plans to give councils greater powers to allow motorsport events on public roads have been announced by the Government.

The proposals, which will be consulted on, could generate up to £40 million over five years for communities hosting events.

Local authorities already have the power to authorise a road closure for sporting and leisure events on the highway.

But at present they are not allowed to suspend the Road Traffic Act, meaning that speed limits, traffic signals and the requirement for a vehicle to be road-legal are still in force.

Today's consultation will ask for the first time whether that restriction should be removed so that local authorities could close public roads for a properly-sanctioned motorsport event, including races and trials of speed.

The motorsports industry estimates that there could be demand to hold up to 20 significant events on roads around Britain each year.

Culture Secretary Maria Miller said: "The excitement and buzz of motorsports attracts a legion of dedicated fans and drives investment. Looking at whether local authorities should be able to close public roads for road races and other motorsports could mean millions of extra pounds going to local communities."

Roads Minister Robert Goodwill said: "Carefully-managed motorsport events are not only great fun and popular, but they make a valuable contribution to the economy."

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