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The Department for Transport has announced new laws which will allow motor racing events to take place on closed public roads in England, as part of a wider aim to boost English tourism.
According to a statement from the DfT, the move could see small races hosted by local communities, bigger European rallies or even a future Monaco-style Grand Prix in an English city, offering huge economic benefits to local communities.
The Motor Sports Association and the Auto-Cycle Union, the respective governing bodies for four- and two-wheel motor sport in the UK, will be authorised to issue permits for the races. They must consult the council, police and other local bodies and be fully satisfied that the event will be safe. Local authorities have the final say over whether a race can go ahead, and may require additional safety measures before, during or after the event as a condition of allowing a race to take place.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones 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."
Rob Jones, Motor Sports Association 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."
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