London to Brighton Run gets extra route out of London

For the first time since 1896, the Veteran Car Run will split into two out of London, to ease congestion and give more opportunities for spectating

For the first time in its 122-year history, the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run is to take two separate routes out of London, in a welcome bid to cut down on the traffic delays in the early stages of the run.

Since the very first Emancipation Run in November 1896, participants have always followed the same officially designated road to Brighton, albeit with pre-planned minor changes from year to year, often to avoid designated roadworks.

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However, with increasing traffic and spectator numbers in London, the organisers have now planned two separate routes between Westminster and Croydon. As well as easing the congestion, this will also allow more spectators to view the pre-1905 cars as they pass through their local areas.

This year the Run will take place on Sunday 4 November. it will start from Hyde Park at sunrise, as usual, and travel through the Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner, then down Constitution Hill, past Buckingham Palace, along The Mall and to Parliament Square. it's at this point that the Run will split into two.

Half of the veteran car field will then continue along the familiar path taken in recent years up to 2016, heading past past Big Ben over Westminster Bridge and then onto Streatham and Thornton Heath. 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 back up with the traditional route close to Croydon.

From there to the coast the full field will pass through Purley, Coulsdon, Hooley and Redhill, with the mid-way halt at the Honda Gatwick dealership in Crawley. From there the route heads along Crawley High Street, marking the start of the Regularity Time Trial, and over the South Downs before the final descent into Brighton.

In order to set the new route, members of the The Royal Automobile Club’s Veteran Car Run Steering Group tested a number of different alternatives, driving in veteran cars on a Sunday morning.

'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,' reported Ben Cussons, chairman of the VCR Steering Group (in the driving seat, below).

'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.'

There's more information on the new route on the Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run supported by Hiscox official website. Potential entrants have until Friday 25 May to take advantage of the Early Bird registration offer.

The Veteran Car Run will provide the grand finale to the Royal Automobile Club’s London Motor Week, during which the Club presents forums, dinners, trophy presentations, lectures and exhibitions as well as the free-to-view Regent Street Motor Show now held annually on the Saturday immediately before the Run.

In addition, auctioneer Bonhams will hold it annual Veteran Car Run sale on the preceding Friday afternoon with veteran cars and related memorabilia going under the hammer.

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