How Tour de France could help UK road racing

I’m not versed in UK politics so this is not and endorsement of any particular party or political view but Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that there is consultation on the issue of road racing on public streets—which is currently banned in the UK. This has been a consistent sleeping policeman in the move to bring a street race to locations around the UK.

The change to the law would give local authorities the power to stage races on public roads. This would allow the suspension of speed limits and some regulations for certain conditions according the BBC.

Cameron was visiting the Williams F1 team headquarters when he made the announcement but there was an impetus that prompted his interest in seeing these changes.

Last weeks Grand Depart of the Tour de France was attended by hundreds of thousands of British fans. The turnout was nothing short of spectacular and Cameron reckons this type of event on public roads could be replicated for two and four-wheel versions in the future.

Opening up the restraints on local authorities would allow for regional races, hillclimbs, and rallies. As BBC’s Andrew Benson points out, this is mainly centered on regional and local events and has little to do with the continuing interest in a London Grand Prix in that city’s streets. It would remove a few road blocks, however, but the cost to stage the race may still be out of reach.

Formula 1 boss, Bernie Ecclestone, said:

“The news is good, but I don’t know whether you’d have street racing because it’s not cheap to put on something that’s safe,” he said.

He said street racing was very expensive, but added: “If they ever get it together then we’ll see what happens. At least it’s a good sign, a step in the right direction.”

The cost of the F1 race in London remains a major roadblock but at least the changes or deregulation would remove some of the logistical issues involved. While F1 may be the first benefactor from the changes, one can imagine other feature races of the two and four-wheel version as the British public showed they can handle street closure and sport running through their towns.

Whether they can handle the silly urge to take a selfie with their back turned to 200 cyclists is another thing.

The Selfie
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