Government plans unveiled today have revealed a real possibility of road racing returning to England, Scotland and Wales.
The Government’s Department for Culture, Media & Sport have opened a public consultation relating to a proposal to authorise motorsport events on public roads.
The consultation period is currently open and ends on 10th April and if permission goes ahead then we could see local authorities being given the power to suspend the Road Traffic Act and therefore bringing benefits to the motor racing industry and to local communities.
Currently road racing enthusiasts have Isle of Man TT, Classic TT, North-West 200, Southern 100 taking place in the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland but could the proposed revisions lead to more road racing taking place in England, Scotland and Wales? This of course could this mean a realistic opportunity for the Race of the Reivers, a TT style motorcycle racing event based on an 11.1 mile circuit around Jedburgh which was devised by three enthusiasts in 2012. They already have the backing of local MP’s and businesses.
Research undertaken by Sheffield Hallam University’s Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC) based on 20 additional ‘closed road’ event held in England, Scotland and Wales estimates that these would take five years to develop from pilots to fully developed events with an international profile. Over the first five years, SIRC estimates a cumulative economic benefit of up to £40.9m from spending by visitors not usually resident in the local economy.
The consultation which was launched today by Maria Miller, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has been backed by the MSA who govern Motor Sports in the UK. The MSA’s Acting Chief Executive Rob Jones said,
“This is the news that British motor sport has been waiting for. It represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change the landscape of our sport, allowing local communities across the country to host motor sport events and enjoy all the excitement and economic benefit they bring. The government’s enthusiasm for closed road motor sport, and its launch of a public consultation, is the culmination of years of hard work behind the scenes, started by former MSA Chief Executive Colin Hilton."
The Motor Sport Industry makes an important contribution to the UK economy, with an estimated annual turnover of £9bn in 2012. The UK hosts around 5,000 motor sport events each year organised by MSA member clubs, as well as 4,000 motor cycle events organised by ACU member clubs.
To find out more about the consultation process, please visit the Government's website by clicking here.