Conservative motion drives Labour to u-turn on Madeira Drive motor events

A Conservative motion has delivered a u-turn in Labour’s position on the future of historic motoring events on Madeira Drive and secured the future of the events.

Strong doubt was cast on the future of events on Madeira Drive when Labour refused to provide unequivocal support for them going forward after strong questioning from Conservative Tourism Spokesperson Robert Nemeth. The Conservatives put pressure on Labour to reverse its decision and published a notice of motion for full council on 23 July. Shortly after the motion was published, Labour announced that the events would no longer be cancelled.

Cllr Nemeth said that he was delighted that the Conservative campaign to save the events had been successful. “I’m pleased we’ve put the brakes on Labour’s plan and I welcome confirmation that the future of motoring events on Madeira Drive is now secure. “It’s a win for the Old Crocks, the Speed Trials, the Mods, The Rockers, the Minis and all of the other loved motoring events that take place on Madeira Drive” he said. “It should never have had to come to this – Labour should never have put our famous events under review. “These events bring in millions of pounds in tourism revenue every year and are a key part of the fabric of the city. “They are valued by our City’s residents and one of the highest-signed petitions of all time to the council was to save the Speed Trials – it is staggering that Labour put these events at risk. “The Conservatives will continue to stand up for our historic motoring events on Madeira Drive” he added.

Madeira Drive is home to some of Brighton’s most well-known events. The Brighton National Speed Trials, considered to be the oldest running motor race, have been held on Madeira Drive since July 1905. The London to Brighton Veteran Car Run has taken place since 1896 and is the longest-running motoring event in the world.

The Conservatives’ motion, proposed by Cllr Nemeth and seconded by Brighton Kemptown's own Cllr Miller states: This Council resolves to: (1) Recognise the huge financial and cultural contribution to the local tourist economy of the many motoring events that take place in the city and on Madeira Drive in particular; (2) Note that there is no evidence to suggest that motoring events cause any more or less pollution – or lead to the release of any more or less carbon – than other events with similar spectator numbers; (3) Recommends to ETS Committee that any post-Covid changes to the layout of Madeira Drive do not prevent historic motoring events from taking place; and (4) Recommends to TECC Committee that urgent confirmation is given that historic motoring events will be given permission to take place.