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2014 Speed Trials under threat by Brighton Council

The Brighton and Hove Council is thinking of dropping the Speed Trials citing safety concerns following the death of a competitor in 2012.

The Speed Trials date back to 1905 and are considered to be one the United Kingdom’s largest motorsport events with claims to be world's longest running motorsport event.

The highly popular event takes place every September on Brighton’s Madeira Drive, and is organized each year by the Brighton and Hove Motor Club, and showcases a wide variety of cars and motorbikes that take part in the quarter of a mile drag race.

In 2012, 38-year-old Charlotte Tagg, from Suffolk – a mother of three - was killed when she was thrown from her motorcycle sidecar when the 64-year old rider lost control of his Honda Asco machine that crashed into a barrier – he survived his injuries.

In 2013 both parties decided to cancel the event until the circumstances that led up incident were clarified by the coroner, and now according to the Brighton Argus, the city council has still has to decide whether to approve an application from the Motor Club to host the event in 2014, after the inquest revealed that vehicles were travelling at 150mph on a road with a 30mph limit.

A spokesman told the newspaper: "No decision has been made on this yet. Our economic development and culture committee will consider the matter on January 23".

Tony Watts, of the Brighton and Hove Motor Club however is appealing to motorsports fans to keep the Speed Trials going and has launched a online petition, that to date has seen 9300 people sign.

The petition reads:

“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.”

The Brighton and Hove Motor Club have found allies in two Conservative councillors that want to see the event continue.

Ken Norman said cancelling the event would “destroy” part of the city’s great heritage, while Garry Pelzer Dunn called for the local authority to have a “sense of realism”. He asked if the council would have to close the beach seeing as many more people had died in the sea than at the Speed Trials.

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