Events : Brighton Speed Trials threat – your support needed

Brighton Speed Trials

The UK’s largest motor sport event, the Brighton Speed Trials is under threat from the local authorities. Brighton and Hove council is currently reviewing the future of this unique event, which takes place on the town’s promenade every year – but the event’s organiser is fighting back by drumming up public support.

The Speed Trials has been running in Brighton since 1905 and is one of the UK’s longest running car event – taking the form of a sprint for some of the UK’s best race cars and motorcycles along Madeira Drive. More than 200 vehicles line up to take a timed run including road cars, race cars and drag bikes who compete to win the fastest in their class. A top six run-off to find the fastest car and bike brings the day to a dramatic close.

But Brighton and Hove Council is planning to block permission for this annual event. But Brighton and Hove Motor Club is asking enthusiasts to sign its petition to support the campaign.

There are many ways of showing your support. Visit to sign the petition now. Updates will be posted to Twitter, at @SaveBST and you can like the Facebook page, The council will be making a decision on 23 January 2014.

Brighton and Hove Motor Club’s Tony Watts said: ‘We are appealing to motor sport 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.’

Keith Adams


  1. I do not know the reason for the Council’s attitude. IF it has anything to do with the Council’s misunderstanding of expectations under the Health and Safety at Work (1974) Act or the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, or any other contrived reference to current legislation, I will personally contact Judith Hacket – Chair of the Health and Safety Executive – and make her aware of possible misinterpretation of current legislation for political or inappropriate reasons. Using current legislation inappropriately may be viewed as deliberate misrepresentation of a government agency – to whit; the HSE. This may be viewed as a criminal offence.
    The government (and Judith) are heartily sick of Elf’nSafety myths and nonsense. The HSE do not want to see the Brighton Speed Trials ended. A more likely reason (assuming anything to do with safety) is the inability of the council to manage these affairs appropriately.
    Readers are correct to assume I am in the Risk Management industry and I am qualified to comment and take the action outlined.
    If the issue has nothing to do with risk controls – my apologies to the council.

  2. #1.WM, you may know quite a lot about risk, but your knowledge of the criminal law seems sketchy to say the least. Perhaps you will identify the statute(s) under which misrepresentation of a government agency is a criminal offence

  3. You in the UK have had massive cuts in government services and funding. Perhaps for Brighton the costs of policing, fire and EMT services for the crowd, the costs of liability insurance (especially with a death last year), have become too high or would mean cuts in other necessary areas of the city’s budget. I also wonder if the local environmental extremists, the NIMBY’s over the noise, perhaps some businesses that lose money from the trials when held, may all be further factors.

  4. @4 Christopher
    If I or any of my staff give a client bad or incorrect advice (and there is an incident/accident/near miss) the HSE can launch a case against my client and ourselves. It is the law we work with everyday. What I said was that IT MAY be viewed as a criminal offence (if the decision to threaten the event is based on bad or inappropriate advice). It is unlikely but again I did say ‘may’.
    There is no need for a slanging match here, the decision may have nothing to do with ‘elf’n’safety as I touched on originally.
    After 30 years in this game, give me credit for knowing some basics. Please. Thank you. Happy new year!

  5. Ah, WM, I think I misunderstood what you were saying . As originally written, you seemed to me to be saying that misrepresenting a government agency was a criminal offence . I now understand you to be saying that if you give incorrect advice which leads to a workplace accident , that may be a criminal offence . I agree entirely , that is a different matter. BTW, no slanging match involved. Happy New year to you too

  6. I’ve done the Speed Trials several times in the 90’s in my Lanica engined mini clubman and while not technically challenging (it’s a timed drag race) it has a lot of history and camaraderie amongst the competitors. I seriously considered getting my car out of the garage again to do a few more of these events but the meddling do-gooders simply don’t understand what this is (and what it represents).

    Are they going to stop the annual ‘Brighton Pride’ parades as well as there are hundreds of dirty lorries and people playing loud music that must pollute the atmosphere?

    Get a grip Brighton Council and take your heads out of your backsides!

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