Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Mayor 'positive' on London GP plan

Boris Johnson has said he is in favour of a London Grand Prix providing air quality and noise issues are addressed

London Mayor Boris Johnson has given qualified support to bold plans by Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone for a London Grand Prix.

The proposal includes a route which would pass some of London's most famous landmarks, including Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square.

Mr Johnson said he was "broadly positive" about the plan as long as air quality and noise issues were addressed.

Speaking as he launched a new cable car system across the River Thames in London, the Mayor said: "I am always interested in projects that attract jobs and bring growth."

He said it was important to see if there was "a really good economic case" for a London Grand Prix.

Mr Johnson went on: "The question of air quality and noise impact will have to be looked at. I am broadly positive providing we can satisfy the air quality and noise issues.

According to The Times, Mr Ecclestone has wanted a race in London for years and it would cost around £35 million to stage.

The race would start in The Mall and cars would reach speeds of 180mph on the circuit, with drivers racing past Buckingham Palace.

The Times said marketing experts predict that the race could generate at least £100 million for the London economy from spectators and tourists.

Mr Ecclestone told the paper: "With the way things are, maybe we would front it and put the money up for it. If we got the OK and everything was fine, I think we could do that... It would be fantastic, good for London, good for England - a lot better than the Olympics."

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