Brighton and Hove council plan to remove permissions to hold the Brighton Speed Trials; but a local petition to save the event is attracting attention
6 January 2014

A petition to save the Brighton Speed Trials has gathered almost 10,000 signatures.

The Brighton and Hove council has plans to call an end to the event, which is the UK’s longest-running motorsport race. The council is seeking to refuse permission for the event to take place on the seafront, and is understood to be preparing a for later this month.

Councillors told the Brighton Argus newspaper that they have concerns over health and safety following the death of a competitor in 2012. A spokesman said: "No decision has been made on this yet. Our economic development and culture committee will consider the matter on January 23".

The Speed Trials have been held in Brighton since 1905 and hosts more than 200 road and race cars and motorcycles taking timed runs. 

The Brighton Speed Trials is organised by Brighton and Hove Motor Club. The club’s Tony Watts said: "We are appealing to motorsport fans, local residents and everyone who enjoys a family day out at the seaside to help us save this historic event. 

"The loss of the Brighton Speed Trials will be the end of an era for Brighton with over 100 years of history and entertainment in the area gone."

Organisers say "the end of the Speed Trials will also have a financial impact on tourism and trade for retailers and businesses in the area as it brings thousands of visitors to Brighton".

The organisers are seeking more support to challenge the council’s move. Supporters can find out more on Save Brighton Speed Trial’s Facebook page or on Twitter, @SaveBST.

Join the debate



23 December 2013
This is a disgrace.
I despair at the way we pay public servants to bully us into submission because they know what's best for us.....why do we let them get away with it...cant we grow a spine?
They are supposed to work for us, and there wouldn't be one person, competitor or spectator, who wasn't there at the Speed Trials of their own freewill and fully aware that Motorsport IS dangerous.
The council local to Santa Pod stopped us from standing in the back shed behind the start line for our own safety....we all knew we took the risk of eye damage when the jet cars were blipping the was OUR choice to be there.
I was standing less than 10 feet away from a man who was killed by a loose bolt from a Top Fuel Dragster as it crossed the finish line at the Pod travelling at over 300 MPH. The Police shut the final runs down to 'Hold an Enquiry'. But I bet every body to a man was there at the event the following year.
It is all about blame culture and the fact that we are copying the idiotic Americans and their litigious ways. It was an accident, nobody did this on purpose!
The thing which really makes me laugh about America is they are soooo worried about safety and the face and body beautiful, and yet they wont put on a safety belt or wear a crash hat on a motorbike....OH and they run the Reno Air races which must surely be the most gloriously dangerous annual event in the world (competing or watching)
.WE have to put a stop to this insidious creep of the Health and Safety dept., life becomes impossible otherwise and certainly if H&S are banning conkers, all Motorsport will be way too risky.
I watch an eclectic mix of sport during the year...VSCC Hillclimb's, GRRC events, Rallies Drag Racing and sprints, and I take responsibility for myself thank you very much.
I urge everyone to sign the petition...I did as soon as I read it.

23 December 2013
289 - Perfect argument, total agreement. Fancy seeing a picture of the Freikaiserwagon on auto !


24 December 2013
LOL. Yeh Ravon, kinda surreal...... more Motorsport or The Automobile territory!
Don't know what's happening with this site....all the paragraphs gone! From my post BTW.

24 December 2013
When Joe Fry competed in the Freikaiserwagen, days about half a century before Mario Andretti and the Lotus 78/79, the racing machines were termed "Racing Cars", not "Race Cars" ! I'm pretty certain it was Mr.Andretti who changed our language in this respect ?

24 December 2013
How about the guy who willingly chooses to cycle to work, even though he has a car, and is therefore greatly endangering himself - do we ban bicycles if he gets killed? This is pathetic. Sounds like they have a mob in who don't 'get', or don't like, motorsport or anything that celebrates the motor car so are happy to sweep away decades of tradition because they don't think it fits the image of the town. Was the 2013 event deserted because of the unfortunate death in 2012? Yeah, didn't think so... Petition signed.

24 December 2013
Not closing established events that support a local economy. Full support from me, I'll let me other Kop Hill Climb colleagues respond individually.

David Banes
Entrants Team Lead, Kop Hill Climb.

24 December 2013
What do the people of Brighton expect they voted in the Green party!

24 December 2013
Would Le Mans town council remove permission to hold the 24 Hours because of last years fatality.....?

Would Brighton council ban Sunday football if some poor soul collapses and dies....?

I've attended the speed trails many times over the last 20 years and always love it, the diversity of man and machine with the sole aim of getting off the line as fast as possible is fascinating and a great British motorsport tradition.

Lets hope common sense prevails.....

25 December 2013
Before harrumphing on too much.

6 January 2014
Flatus senex wrote:

It would help to know the circumstances regarding the fatality

A sidecar lost control after crossing the finish line and struck a barrier. The driver was badly injured and the passenger was killed. The accident did not involve spectators or marshals.


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