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Bid to save Brighton Speed Trials is gaining speed
A petition to save the world’s longest-running motorsports event is gaining momentum.
It went from 0 to 2,000 in less than 24 hours and has now reached 5,824.
The first Brighton Speed Trials took place in Madeira Drive, Brighton, in 1905.
But organisers say they fear for its future as Brighton and Hove City Council has not yet accepted an application to host the event in 2014.
Admitting concerns about the safety of the event following the death of a competitor in 2012, leading councillors said they had to weigh up all the options before making a decision.
Fearing the worst, a petition has been set up on the council’s website – and within its first 24 hours it received more than 2,000 signatures.
Started by Ruth Reynolds, of Brighton and Hove Motor Club, the petition said: “The end of the Speed Trials will be the end of an era for Brighton.
“It will have a major negative financial impact on tourism and trade in the area and mean the loss of one of the highlights on Brighton’s seafront entertainment calendar. Please sign the petition and help keep the Speed Trials going.”
Following the death of mother-of-three Charlotte Tagg, this year’s event was cancelled while a coroner investigated.
At the inquest the jury heard how vehicles were travelling at 150mph on a road with a 30mph limit.
In its place the council agreed the seafront could be used for the inaugural Paint Run.
Speaking at a recent council meeting where the subject was debated, Green councillor Geoffrey Bowden, who is chairman of the council’s economic development committee, said: “Let’s be clear, this has absolutely nothing to do with the ideology of this administration.
“It is for personal safety grounds that the officers have made this recommendation.
“Businesses on the seafront also have to close and we are inundated with complaints from people who cannot access the beach [on that weekend].”
But, speaking after the launch of the petition, Conservative councillor Ken Norman said: “It is outrageous that such a prestigious and important historical event should be unceremoniously dumped and we are now looking at an attempt to destroy yet another part of our heritage.
“The current Green administration has already sold off the very first motor vehicle registration number, CD1, which for many years has been on the Mayoral car and I and many others cannot let this ridiculous situation go without a challenge.”
A decision will be made by the council’s Economic Development and Culture Committee at a meeting on January 23.
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