Local authorities could be given the power to hold motor sports events on public roads, under new proposals announced by the Government.

Under the proposal, councils would be allowed to close roads and suspend speed limits to host events that would benefit the local economy.

Evidence suggests there is demand to hold up to 20 on-road motor sports events in Britain each year, generating up to £40m of income for local communities.

Although local authorities have the power to close roads for sporting and leisure events under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, they can not do so for motor races or trials of speed.

The consultation, launched by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, will seek views on deregulation to allow stage rallies, hill climbs and trials of speed on public roads in certain circumstances.

The motor sport industry has an estimated annual turnover of £9bn, employing 41,000 people. In 2013, eight of the eleven Formula 1 teams were based in the UK.

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