Our website uses cookies so that we can provide a better service. Continue to use the site as normal if you're happy with this, or find out how to manage cookies.

Act NOW: Government consultation on closed road motorsport!

MIA support Government consultation on closed road motor sport

Support the opportunity as an industry - Your views needed - Respond before Thursday 3 April

The government is considering changing the law to allow motor sport events to take place on the public highway in Britain. They launched a public consultation on February 27th, which closes on April 15th, to gauge opinion on the proposals.

Current legislation
It is illegal under Section 12 of the Road Traffic Act to take part in or promote a ‘race or trial of speed’ on the public highway. The person would be guilty of a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £2,500, obligatory disqualification from driving and the imposition of between 3 to 11 penalty points.

A Local Authority can close a road for many purposes – road works, events, demonstrations, etc – but they do not have the power to suspend the Road Traffic Act. This means that although the road itself may be ‘closed’, all vehicles on it still have to be road legal, taxed, insured and MOT’d, while all the road laws are still in force regarding speed limits and traffic signals.

In order to suspend the Road Traffic Act, you need a specific Act of Parliament which is not only expensive and slow, but also takes up valuable Parliamentary time when there are probably more important things to be debating. Three Acts of Parliament are in force, allowing the Jim Clark Rally, the Mull Rally and the Brighton Speed Trials to take place each year.

The proposal
The MSA, with the active support of the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA), has been campaigning for an amendment to the law that would reform this procedure, giving Local Authorities the power to suspend the Road Traffic Act and decide what happens on the roads in their region. That way, local people get to decide whether they want to have a motor sport event or not in their area.

What’s the benefit?

It’s great news for local authorities and their communities:

  • A common sense devolution of power from Westminster to Local Authorities
  • Brings economic benefit to the hosting community from tourism and inward investment.
  • Brings the UK in line with Europe where closed road motor sport events are very successful

It’s great news for motorsport and the UK motorsport industry:

  • Takes motor sport to the people;
  • Encourages more people to get involved in motor sport;
  • Will help to grow UK sales in an industry that leads the world and generates £9bn for the UK economy and employs 41,000 people.

Type of events

  • Stage Rallies held exclusively on tarmac roads, or one stage in a town centre
  • Hillclimbs or Sprints held on closed stretches of public highway
  • Local festivals held around a small motor sport event like an Autotest or kart race

All motor sport events are organised to the very highest regulatory standards to ensure they are safe and responsibly run. There are approximately 5,000 motor sport events organised every year in the UK and all of these are properly managed and carefully regulated.

UK motorsport businesses should respond NOW - View the consultation questions here

The MIA has been invited to bring together your comments and beliefs, by reporting directly to the DCMS, representing the industry as a whole. Respond to the MIA by clicking this link or emailing carly.latcham@the-mia.com. Respond to ensure this once-in-a-generation chance to get the law changed for the good of all in motorsport, and the many motorsport fans, is not missed.

To view the consultation document click here. If you wish to respond directlty to the DCMS please follow the instructions on page 6 of the consultation document.