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 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for beauty pageant
- 3 Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
West poised to join forces with Assad in face of Islamic State
Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
£20000 - £27000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst - (Active Di...
£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...
£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...