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UK Closed road motor sport steps closer to reality

Posted: April 20, 2017 6:28 AM - 1440 Hits

MSA achieves closed-road motorsport for mainland Britain

Posted: April 20, 2017 6:28 AM

In one of the biggest developments in the history of UK motorsport, the Motor Sports Association's long campaign to bring closed-road events to mainland Britain has been successful, with the enabling legislation commencing on Monday (10 April)

Since 2010 the MSA has called for a change in the law to allow local authorities to suspend the Road Traffic Act for authorised motorsport events, without requiring individual Acts of Parliament. Independent research commissioned by the MSA and conducted by the Sport Research Institute at Sheffield Hallam University showed that local communities across Britain could generate up to £40m of additional revenue by closing roads to host a limited number of motorsport events.

Primary legislation providing the framework for closed-road motorsport was passed in the 2015 Deregulation Act. The MSA has since worked closely with the Department for Transport (DfT) on the secondary legislation required to make this framework available to event organisers. This comprises an impact assessment with the commencement order.

The commencement order names the MSA and its sister governing body for two-wheel UK motorsport, the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU), as the two authorising bodies for closed-road motorsport events from 10 April onward.

Rob Jones, MSA Chief Executive, said:
"This is a seismic shift for UK motorsport, and one that the MSA and the wider motorsport community have pursued determinedly for many years. We can now take motorsport to the people, and in turn those local hosting communities have the opportunity to benefit from the economic boost that these events may provide.

"Many people have contributed to this long campaign and we must first give special mention to my predecessor as MSA Chief Executive, Colin Hilton, for starting down this road seven years ago. Thanks also to our former Director of Communications, Ben Taylor, for his relentless lobbying, and to our Rallies Executive, Ian Davis, for his invaluable contribution to the required legislation. We owe a further debt of gratitude to Ken Clarke MP and Ben Wallace MP and for their tireless support in Westminster."

Andrew Jones MP, Transport Minister, said:
"Britain is a world leader in the motorsport industry and this will further cement our position. There are already races of this kind in some areas of the British Isles which are incredibly popular, attracting thousands of spectators. New road races will boost local economies through increased tourism and hospitality, and offer community opportunities such as volunteering."

Among those welcoming the news was the all-electric FIA Formula E Championship, which stages events in capital cities across the globe. It said:
"The FIA Formula E Championship warmly welcomes the news that the UK's Road Traffic Act has been amended, permitting the closure of roads and allowing for the possibility of regulated motor racing on closed highways.

"We recognise the key role that the MSA, and its Chief Executive Rob Jones, have played in making this happen. This move considerably helps the prospect of the London ePrix returning to the streets of the British capital."

Nigel Mansell CBE, 1992 F1 world champion, was equally enthusiastic. He said:
"I have seen first-hand the very significant impact of motor sport on the economy of the Isle of Man and Jersey, so this is a great move forward for the sport and will bring visitors and pride to parts of the country that wish to stage such events. I am delighted that this government is embracing motorsport, which will assist the UK's world-leading position and improve the sport's ability to help provide opportunities and focus for young people."

Meanwhile Tendring District Council (TDC) has been in discussions about the possibility of bringing an event to the District. Tanya Ferguson, TDC's Cabinet Member for Tourism and Culture, said:
"There is no doubt at all that hosting such an exciting event would be a massive draw and bring people into our area to boost the economy. Our talks are at a very early stage but we are very interested in the prospect and hope that the idea can be developed with Tendring."

UK Closed road motor sport steps closer to reality

Posted: April 10, 2015 1:40 PM

In a huge boost for British motor sports, new primary legislation facilitating closed road-events on mainland Britain has been approved by the government.

The Deregulation Bill achieved Royal Assent yesterday (Thursday 26 March). It contains a framework for running motor sports on closed public roads without needing a costly Act of Parliament to suspend the Road Traffic Act for each event.

This news is the culmination of a long campaign by the Motor Sports Association that began before the last General Election in 2010. Since then MPs have been targeted with information to demonstrate the potential value of motor sport events to local communities. There has been cross-party support for the campaign and the required legislation.

Rob Jones, MSA Chief Executive, said:
"This landmark development is the result of a lot of hard work by a small handful of people behind the scenes, with vital backing from thousands of supporters within the British motor sport community.

"In particular we must recognise the invaluable contributions of both the Rt Hon Ken Clarke, the Minister responsible for driving the legislation, and Ben Wallace MP, who has relentlessly championed the cause of motor sport within Westminster these past five years and kept the pressure on his colleagues when necessary. I would also like to thank all those who have lent their backing, whether by responding to consultation, writing to their MP or simply by voicing their support."

Before the primary legislation can become available to event organisers, secondary legislation ? in the form of a statutory instrument detailing the enabling powers ? is required. The MSA will work closely with the relevant stakeholders to achieve this as soon as possible following the General Election in May.

UK Government launches consultation on Closed Road motor sport -MSA calls on the sport to respond to online consultation

Posted: March 6, 2014 2:35 PM

The Motor Sports Association - governing body of four wheel motor sport - has welcomed the launch of a government consultation regarding a proposed change in the law that would allow motor sport events to take place on closed public roads in Britain.

The Road Traffic Act states that it is illegal to organise or take part in a race or trial of speed on the public highway, but the MSA has been pushing successive governments to devolve power to local authorities to enable them to suspend the Road Traffic Act without having to resort to an Act of Parliament.

Such an amendment would enable competitive motor sport events such as stage rallies, sprints and hill climbs to take place on closed public roads, as already happens across mainland Europe, in Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

The MSA is now calling on the motor sport community to respond to the consultation and demonstrate the huge groundswell of support there is for these proposals. The governing body has produced a guide to the process and template answers to some of the questions posed by the consultation. This can be found on the MSA website:

Rob Jones, MSA Acting Chief Executive, hailed the consultation as a huge step forward for the MSA's long-running closed roads campaign:

“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.

"However to make that vision a reality, we need everybody involved with our sport - competitors and volunteers, clubs and organisers - to respond positively to the government consultation before the 10 April deadline.

"The government's enthusiasm for motor sport, and its launch of a public consultation, reflects years of hard work behind the scenes. It's now up to us all to grab this chance to take the closed road campaign a big step closer to the finish line."

Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, three-time F1 world champion, said:
"I whole-heartedly support the initiative to introduce the opportunity for motor sport to utilise appropriate public roads for sporting events. The British motor sport industry is one of the UK's most successful enterprises and we indeed lead the world in this field. There are many other countries that use their roads on a temporary basis for significant sporting events that attract worldwide interest. In many cases it can even progress safety standards on those same roads for the benefit of the general public and all road users. The MSA (Motor Sports Association) are very conscientious regarding all matters involving safety."

Nigel Mansell CBE, former F1 world champion, said:
"I have seen first-hand the very significant impact of motor sport on the economy of the Isle of Man and Jersey, so this would be a great move forward for the sport and would bring visitors and pride to parts of the country that wish to stage such events. I am delighted that this government is embracing motor sport which will assist the UK's world-leading position, and improve the sport's ability to help provide opportunities and focus for young people."

Topics: MSA 

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