Formula One - London West End - 2004


Formula One cars could be racing through London if a shake-up of the capital's speed limit and road safety legislation goes ahead.

According to The Times, a consultation that plans to ease the way races are staged on public roads is to be launched within a matter of days.

The main aim of the rethink is to help make things easier for cycling and rallying events, but it would see F1 reaping the benefit too.

The possibility of a London-based F1 event first reared its head in 2011, but up until now progress had been held up because of political fighting at Whitehall level.

In 2012, F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone – a keen advocate of a London Grand Prix – called the idea "fantastic, good for London, good for England – a lot better than the Olympics," said The Times in its report about the reinvigorated high-octane dream.

At the moment, a parliamentary Act is needed to temporarily discontinue national speed limits as well as additional safety legislation, but the new plan would mean local authorities could decide for themselves to lift the rules in the short term.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is believed to support the idea of motor-racing in the capital, says The Times, which adds that, according to insiders, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin is largely in favour of it and Defence Secretary Philip Hammond is a big supporter.

However, according to espn.co.uk, if the go-ahead is given, any Formula One event faces the prospect of widespread opposition from eco groups, traders and residents because of the huge disruption and noise that it would bring with it.

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