Following a landmark decision for road-based motorsport competition in the UK, the Welsh government has written new laws facilitating closed-road events, that have already come in to force.
The MSA spent several years campaigning for a change in the law to allow local authorities to suspend the Road Traffic Act for authorised motor sport events, without requiring individual Acts of Parliament. New enabling legislation commenced in England on 10 April 2017.
Following a further consultation, the Welsh Government has now published its own statutory instrument facilitating closed-road motor sport in Wales. As in England, it names the MSA and its sister governing body for two-wheel UK motor sport, the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU), as the authorising bodies for closed-road motor sport events.
“Wales is home to a dynamic automotive sector with an annual turnover of some £3bn (US$4.1bn) and this is an excellent opportunity to inspire people to become a part of automotive and engineering industries in the future,” said Ken Skates, cabinet secretary for Economy and Transport. “I also recognize how such events can boost local, often rural, economies through increased tourism and hospitality, and offer community opportunities such as volunteering.”
“It’s no understatement to say that this development will literally change the landscape of Welsh motor sport, providing opportunities to take the sport to new areas of the country on closed public roads,” added Rob Jones, MSA chief executive. “Wales is already recognised globally for its motor sport heritage and this development will add significantly to the country’s pre-eminence in the sport.”
“We believe that Wales has a lot of roads that would lend themselves to this new closed-roads legalisation,” concluded Paul Loveridge, chairman of the Welsh Association of Motor Clubs (WAMC). “It creates the opportunity for Welsh motor sport to really flourish and we look forward to exploring ideas for new events and initiatives over the coming the months and years.”