The London to Brighton Veteran Car Run will return to the roads of Croydon on November 4, but this time with the highly polished old bangers pootling down a street near you from two separate directions.
Last autumn the car rally took a swerve from its traditional route – originally following the A23 Brighton Road – and bypassed Thornton Heath, South Croydon and Coulsdon because of impassable road works on Brixton Hill.
This year, it gets back on track, but for the first time in its 122-year history, the veteran car run will use two routes out of central London.
The well-driven journey from Hyde Park to the Sussex coast has been subject to various minor changes since the posse of early automotive pioneers celebrated the passing into law of the Locomotive on the Highway Act in 1896. Due to increasing Sunday morning congestion on the streets of London, the organisers are now providing participants with two routes between Westminster and Croydon.
“This will not only help to alleviate overcrowding on the increasingly busy highways but also provide even more enthusiasts in south London with a wonderful opportunity to savour hundreds of extraordinary pre-1905 cars motoring through their neighbourhood,” say the organisers.
After leaving Hyde Park at sunrise, going down Constitution Hill past Buckingham Palace, along The Mall and to Parliament Square, the Run will split into two.
Half of the field will follow the usual route, taking the first group of intrepid crews past Big Ben over Westminster Bridge and then on to Streatham and Thornton Heath. Meanwhile the other half will head past Westminster Abbey crossing the Thames via Lambeth Bridge and then taking a parallel journey through Vauxhall, Tooting and Mitcham meeting up with the traditional route close to Croydon.
From there, the full field will pass through Purley, Coulsdon and Hooley on its merry way to Redhill, through Crawley High Street over the picturesque South Downs and then the final descent into Brighton.
“Mounting congestion on the streets of south London has been a growing concern among Run regulars, so we set out to evaluate several new options and, it was agreed, that the two-route policy was a very suitable solution,” said Ben Cussons, the chairman of the RAC’s Veteran Car Run steering group.
“By splitting the 450-car entry into two groups, it is envisaged that traffic bottlenecks will be halved, quickening the exit out of London, so making the historic pilgrimage to Brighton an even more pleasurable event for all.”
Entrants and spectators wanting to take advantage of the revised routes can find out more information on the Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run supported by Hiscox official website: www.veterancarrun.com.
The Veteran Car Run provides a grand finale to the Royal Automobile Club’s London Motor Week – which includes forums, dinners, trophy presentations, lectures and exhibitions, as well as the free-to-view Regent Street Motor Show now held annually on the Saturday (November 3) immediately before the Run.
Adding to the build-up, renowned auctioneer Bonhams hosts a special Veteran Car Run sale on the preceding Friday afternoon (November 2) with an eye-catching selection of veteran cars and related memorabilia coming under the hammer.
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