As tradition dictates, at day break on the first Sunday in November, more than 400 remarkable horseless carriages dating back to the dawn of motoring will set out from Hyde Park on their annual pilgrimage to Brighton on the Sussex coast. And they will be pootering along a street near you.
The organisers of the Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run have confirmed that they will continue with the innovation introduced last year of a split route through south London, with the cars travelling down the A23 through to Streatham, Norbury and Thornton Heath, while their tenders and support vehicles take a slightly different route.
The two routes merge together at the Lombard Roundabout and heads on southwards down the A236, Roman Way, past Croydon Old Town, to South Croydon, then the A235 into Purley to Coulsdon and on to the south coast.
The run is made up exclusively of vehicles dating from 1905 or earlier, and provides a magnificent and free spectacle on Croydon’s doorstep on a crisp autumn morning.
Cars usually pass through Croydon between 7.15am and 11am on their way from capital to coast, and the organisers have updated their website to assist participants and spectators.
Miles Wade, the club secretary of the Royal Automobile Club, said: “To this day, the Run remains the Club’s flagship event, drawing in a truly international following every year.
“We always seek to provide the best experience possible for our participants and followers. The Run has a phenomenal heritage and, as its custodians, it’s important that we work to ensure that the Run is easy to access for our participants and all those who choose to follow this extraordinary event.”
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Roman Way I suppose is ok for a route but personally, I’d like to see them come down North End and the High Street as they did originally it being the old A23. It’s for things like this that our Council, Councillor’s and MP shouldnbe pressing (when they haven’t got more serious things to do), to keep the centre of the town alive. Whadda you think?
It is not Croydon’s event, and not within the council’s remit to set the route, which has undergone regular tinkering and alteration over the years, largely around road and traffic conditions.
The RAC’s priority these days is a steady road, with as few traffic lights (once stopped, the old cars take some re-starting) and slopes to climb as possible. A detour through Surrey Street a couple of years back was viewed as less than a success because the difficulty some vehicles had coping with the climb and sharp left and then right turns on to the High Street.
Surrey Street would always have been a disaster, any local could have told you that. There are people here like me, in the heritage associations in Croydon who could help you plan should you ever want to try again. I suspect that Roman Way is a bit of a struggle too. We are keen to attract historic events to the centre of Croydon.
You need to take that up with the RAC.
Those “historic events” you mention (who is the “we”?): won’t they mostly already be located in their historic venues?