Boris Johnson 'broadly positive' over London Grand Prix plan

 

London Mayor Boris Johnson gave qualified support today to bold plans by Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone for a London Grand Prix.

The proposal, to be announced tonight, includes a route which would pass some of London's most famous landmarks, including Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square.

Mr Johnson said he was "broadly positive" about the plan as long as air quality and noise issues were addressed.

Speaking as he launched a new cable car system across the River Thames in London today, the Mayor said: "I am always interested in projects that attract jobs and bring growth."

He said it was important to see if there was "a really good economic case" for a London Grand Prix.

Mr Johnson went on: "The question of air quality and noise impact will have to be looked at. I am broadly positive providing we can satisfy the air quality and noise issues.

According to The Times, Mr Ecclestone has wanted a race in London for years and that it would cost around £35 million to stage it.

The race would start in The Mall and cars would reach speeds of 180mph on the 3.2-mile circuit, with drivers racing past Buckingham Palace.

The Times said marketing experts predict that the race could generate at least £100 million for the London economy from spectators and tourists.

Mr Ecclestone told the paper: "With the way things are, maybe we would front it and put the money up for it. If we got the OK and everything was fine, I think we could do that... It would be fantastic, good for London, good for England - a lot better than the Olympics."

Londoners seemed fairly relaxed at the idea of ultra-fast cars whizzing through the capital.

"I think it's very exciting. I am 100% in favour of it," said Maurice Bennett, 79, from Hampstead, north west London.

But Bernard Boreham, 68, from Croydon, south London, was less happy.

He said: "I am not so sure about this. I would rather see cars going around a racing track outside London."

Robert Davis, deputy leader of Westminster City Council, said: "We are yet to receive any firm proposals from the parties involved, but we would very much like to form part of the discussion process.

"This is an event that would have obvious benefits to London in terms of finance and profile - but the council will wish to also put forward any concerns we receive from residents."

London Assembly Green Party member Darren Johnson said: "Bernie Ecclestone's proposal is a terrible idea at a time when we want to make our streets safer and more pedestrian and cycle friendly.

"Formula One should stick to the dedicated race tracks and leave our streets for ordinary Londoners to enjoy. I hope the Mayor joins me in opposing this idea, which is completely unsuitable for London."

PA

Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen