There are some stories kicking around at the moment about the possibility of a London Grand Prix. These suggest that an act of parliament is currently required to suspend the Road Traffic Act. The authors (and copiers) seem to have missed the fact that this has already been done with the 2015 Deregulation Bill, which received Royal Assent on March 26 last year, and thus is already law. This allows for the running of motor sports events on closed public roads, without needing to suspend the Road Traffic Act for each event. This was the culmination of a lengthy campaign by Britain’s Motor Sports Association, dating back to 2010, when it was decided that motorsport events can be successfully used to generate revenues for regional economies.
There are a couple of things that also need to be taken into consideration: a Grand Prix on the streets of London would have every nimby in Christendom up in arms, defending urban foxes and sewer rats; secondly, it would cost rather a lot money because roadways would need to be resurfaced to have road suitable for F1 cars, and someone somewhere would need to pay the race fees, which would need to be somewhere around $40-50 million a year (with an annual 10 percent hike) in order for the race to be worth considering. Another problem is that London already has very high hotel room occupancy rates and that means that the additional revenues generated by a race would be less than other venues which need tourists. The prices are already high and so adding any more special taxes to pay for the event would meet resistance.
Disruption could be kept to a minimum if the event was held in a park, but London’s only sensible equivalent to Albert Park is Hyde Park, which would mean that the event would have none of the landmarks such as Buckingham Palace or the Houses of Parliament.
In addition to all of this, Silverstone has the contract for the British Grand Prix until 2027 and so there would need to be two races in the UK each year. While that is not impossible the current pressure on the calendar means that the concept of two races per country is now frowned upon…