Hopes leap for London Grand Prix: Cameron aims to open British roads to motor races
Bernie Ecclestone has pressed for a Monaco-style Grand Prix to be staged in the capital
Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button could soon be thrilling the crowds as they race around Parliament Square and accelerate up the Mall.
The major obstacle to London – or any other British city – staging its own Monaco-style Grand Prix is to be swept away by the Government.
Councils will shortly get the power to turn public roads into temporary race tracks with speed limits and laws on dangerous driving suspended.
The Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has pressed for the staging of a London Grand Prix, arguing it would raise at least £100 million in ticket sales and products endorsements.
Boris Johnson, the London Mayor, has already signalled his support for staging a Grand Prix in the heart of the capital.
Today's announcement, which covers England, Scotland and Wales, also clears the way to smaller-scale motor rallies, speed trials and hill climbs. Motor sports chiefs say there is enough demand to hold around 20 races a year on British roads.
David Cameron announced the move as he opened an £8 million engineering facility at Oxfordshire headquarters of the Williams F1 team.
Legislation will be introduced in the autumn to give local authorities the power to host motor races subject to consultation with residents.
It is due to become law by March, potentially paving the way to the first races next summer.
Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari drives during qualifying ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix The move follows the success of the three stages of the Tour de France held in Britain, which were watched by some 3.5 million spectators last week and are estimated to have boosted the economy by more than £100 million.
Mr Cameron said: “We think this will be of really useful to British motor sport - more races, more events, more money coming into the country and more success for this extraordinary industry.”
Councils can already close roads for cycling and running events. But at the moment they require a special Act of Parliament to allow a motor race on public streets, a process that can take 18 months.
This happened when the Birmingham Superprix Formula 3000 races took place between 1986 and 1990.
A spokeswoman for Mr Johnson said he thought Formula One is “a fantastic event that any city would feel privileged to host - he is always interested in projects that attract jobs and bring growth”.
She said: “He is positive that London would do a spectacular job of hosting an F1 Grand Prix. But it is impossible to say what the impact might be without detailed planning and research and the question of air quality and noise impact would have to be looked at very carefully.”
- 1 I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
- 4 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 5 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
'Kidnapped boy may have been abused and murdered by VIP paedophile ring,' say police
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, PC World, GAME and Argos
Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
Michael Brown shooting: Driver smashes into crowd as protests erupt across the US during a second night of unrest
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...
£25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent, growing Sales...
£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Multi-skilled graphic designer ...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: Court of Protection Solic...