OXFORDSHIRE’S roads could become host to high-speed road races under plans unveiled yesterday by Prime Minister David Cameron as he opened Williams’ new Advanced Engineering facility in Grove.

Mr Cameron said he wanted to allow councils to grant permission for road races to be held.

This is rather than the current system, where a Private Member’s Bill must be passed through Parliament.

He said: “I think this will be great for British motorsport – more races, more events and more money coming into our country and more success for this extraordinary industry.”

Banbury Cake:

  • David Cameron with founder Sir Frank Williams and Craig Wilson

Vice-president of Oxford Motor Club Kevin Belcher said the announcement was good news for racing enthusiasts and the local economy.

He said: “At the moment it is almost impossible to hold road racing events, there is only one event of this type held in England, Wales or Scotland each year.

“The change in the law would make it much easier for us to organise events in a local area and it will be good for everyone because it will bring spectators with money into those local areas.”

West Oxfordshire District Council, which covers Mr Cameron’s Witney Parliamentary constituency, said it was “excited” by the change.

Councillor Richard Langridge, cabinet member for local government and communities, said: “Obviously conditions need to be right to hold an event of this nature, but I think it is extremely exciting that the Government is looking at changing the law so that local authorities have the power to stage road races.”

Mr Cameron hailed Oxfordshire’s wider contribution to British motorsport and motorsport’s contribution to Oxfordshire as he opened the new £8m facility at Williams, which will further develop Formula One technologies.

He said: “There are 40,000 people working in this industry in the Oxford area alone, roughly about 4,300 different companies, and there are so many companies in my constituency which are relying on the massive success story that is Formula One.

“The institute that I have just opened is an enormous investment and vote of confidence in British engineering and British industry.”

Meanwhile, the DVLA is offering a personalised number plate for sale at their summer auction, which starts on July 16, which has a reserve price of £3,500.
The sale of registration “MCL 650s” is expected to whip drivers into a frenzy, given its similarity to the McLaren 650 supercar.

It follows the auction of a similar plate six weeks ago, which sold for £16,000, and will be part of a three-day event at the Williams Formula One team’s factory.

Williams will also be displaying a collection of Grand Prix cars.

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