Grand Prix on London streets comes closer

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The prospect of a Formula 1 Grand Prix on the streets of London has moved a step 
closer after the coalition announced new powers for local authorities.

Town halls will be able to sign off major motor races on public roads for the first time, instead of needing to get specific approval from Parliament.

Unveiling the move as he opened Williams’s new F1 engineering facility in Oxfordshire, Prime Minister David Cameron said it would mean “more races, more events, more money coming into our country”.

“We’re going to change the rules so that local councils are able to make the decision so you don’t have to have a Private Member’s Bill through Parliament, which we think will be great news for British motor sport,” he said.

“More races, more events, more money coming into our country and more success for this extraordinary industry.”

The Prime Minister said F1 was “an amazing success story, eight of the 11 teams based here in the United Kingdom, 41,000 people working in the industry in the Oxford area alone, working for about 4,300 companies”.

“It really is something we should celebrate. It seems to me it’s an industry that is in good heart and good spirit with incredible investment, permanent improvement, taking place.”

The idea of a Monaco-style Grand Prix on the streets of London has been mooted for some time – with F1 team sponsor Santander even producing a video of what it might look like. Mayor Boris Johnson has signalled he is ready to support a project.

The Government’s announcement follows a consultation earlier this year, and the change is expected to be added to the Deregulation Bill in the autumn.