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Scarborough Council hits back over Oliver's Mount cancellations

Racing at Oliver's Mount
Racing at Oliver's Mount
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Scarborough Council has laid the blame for the second cancellation of the year at Oliver's Mount squarely at the feet of the organisers.

Last week, the Auto 66 Club announced it was cancelling the Cock O' The North motorcycle race weekend, scheduled for June 23 and 24.

It followed the cancellation of the Spring Cup earlier this year after the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU) refused to grant the circuit a race licence over safety fears.

Following last week's announcement, a number of posts have appeared online blaming Scarborough Borough Council for the failure to make the circuit safe.

Ticketholders calling Auto 66 to get a refund have also reported that "obstruction" from the council had been given as a reason for the event's demise.

Now, the council has said it will end its agreement with the organisers and will now be looking for a new partner to ensure the future of racing.

In response, a spokesperson for the council said: "We are disappointed that the Auto 66 club has issued misleading statements about the current situation at Oliver’s Mount.

"We, therefore, feel we have been left with no alternative but to clarify our position regarding our discussions with the club and racing at the venue.

"On several occasions in the last few months, we have made known to the club our concerns about the issues at Oliver’s Mount, particularly regarding safety. We have tried to work closely with the club to try to resolve its outstanding issues, but despite our continued efforts to help, very frustratingly these have not been met with a suitable, responsible commitment from the club.

"We have offered assistance (including financial), but the club has been unable or unwilling to provide us with suitable business proposals and plans that would give us the confidence and ability to progress such matters.

"The Auto-Cycle Union’s (ACU) refusal earlier this year to grant a licence for racing at the venue confirmed our fears that the club had not dealt with the safety requirements required and expected of them.

"The safety of riders and spectators is of paramount importance to us and combined with subsequent issues at the recent hill climb event, including late cancellation of advertised events and the ongoing negative impact on the venue's reputation, we have been left with no other choice but to reach the regrettable decision to terminate the club's licence to operate at the venue.

"The high profile, international reputation of the Oliver's Mount circuit and its value to Scarborough is extremely important to us and we are committed to ensuring that its reputation and racing at the circuit is maintained.

"Continuing our relationship with the Auto 66 Club would not achieve this.

"We have therefore already begun discussions with interested parties, including the ACU, who have shown significant interest in helping us, to ensure high quality and safe racing continues to be delivered at the important and historic venue."

The Auto 66 Club has made no statement since announcing the cancellation of the Cock O' The North.

At the time it said: "Auto 66 Club and its team of volunteers have been working with Scarborough Borough Council for the last 6 months trying to bring the circuit up to the new strict, safety standards that will ensure not just the road races in 2018 continue, but also future events at Oliver’s Mount.

"So far, the new required safety levels have not been achieved and so it is with a heavy heart that we have to cancel the 2018 Cock O’The North road races.

"With regards to ticket refunds we will continue to try and resolve this complicated situation as soon as possible."