A study by the renowned Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University has concluded that a limited number of motor sport events held on closed public roads could bring more than £40m into local communities across the UK in the next five years.
Commissioned by the Motor Sports Association to provide an independent third party assessment of the governing body’s assertion of the benefits that closed road motor sport could deliver, the report draws upon previous studies, extensive desk research and long-standing experience to arrive at the figure of £40m that it describes as ‘pragmatic’.
The report analyses not only the economic impact, but also the softer social and wider benefits offered by these proposed events. It concludes that there is compelling evidence to support the MSA’s proposed amendment to existing legislation that would enable local authorities to suspend the Road Traffic Act without having to resort to an Act of Parliament.
Such a policy would open up the way for competitive motor sport events to take place on a limited number of British roads not only for stage rallies, but also other events such as sprints and hillclimbs.
Almost 6,500 people have already committed their names to an online petition (www.petition.co.uk/msa
) in support of the campaign and the MSA has been inundated with suggestions from fans about particular roads that would be suitable for this type of event.
The MSA has already taken its case, together with the Sheffield Hallam paper, to the Liberal Democrat party conference, where it hosted a Fringe meeting under the banner ‘How motor sport can benefit local communities’. The MSA will hold further similar meetings at both the Labour and Conservative party conferences in the next two weeks.
In the meantime, the MSA has made the research paper available on this website, together with a draft letter that can be downloaded and sent to local MPs or local authorities. To view these documents, along with a briefing paper outlining the case for Closed Road motor sport, please click here
“We are under no illusion about the size of the task still ahead of us,” says Colin Hilton, MSA Chief Executive. “But we are delighted by the findings of the Sheffield Hallam paper which confirm our belief that this amended legislation could provide a significant boost not only for the sport, but also for the communities themselves. While there is a long way to go yet, we are optimistic that the timing is right to present a case to government that will generate millions of pounds for local businesses without requiring any public funding.”