For the first time in its history the Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run supported by Hiscox will adopt two routes out of London when the 2018 event takes place on November 4th.
The London to Brighton Run is the world’s longest running motoring event, and commemorates the Emancipation Run of November 1896 that celebrated the passing into law of the Locomotive on the Highway Act. It was this milestone legislation that raised the speed limit for ‘light locomotives’ from 4mph to 14mph, and came after the equally antiquated requirement for a man to walk in front of all moving vehicles waving a red flag had also been abolished.
The journey from Hyde Park to the Sussex coast has been subject to various minor changes since 1896, but now, due to increasing Sunday morning congestion on the streets of London and ever-spiraling spectator traffic, for the first time in its history the Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run supported by Hiscox will adopt two routes out of London when the 2018 event takes place on November 4th.
‘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. ‘By splitting the 450-car entry into two groups, it is envisaged that traffic bottlenecks will be halved, quickening the exit out of London and so making the historic pilgrimage to Brighton an even more pleasurable event for all.’
So this year, having departed from Hyde Park at sunrise and travelled through the Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner, 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 familiar path taken in recent years up to 2016 – with last year’s detour to avoid major road works in Brixton no longer required, that will take them 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 before meeting up with the ‘traditional’ route close to Croydon.
From there to the coast, all cars will pass through Purley, Coulsdon and Hooley to Redhill and a mid-way halt at the Honda Gatwick dealership in Crawley. They will then continue through Crawley High Street and over the picturesque South Downs before the final descent into Brighton. Though not a competitive event, the Run will also include a Regularity Time Trial from Crawley to provide entrants with an additional challenge. In this, participants have to pre-nominate a target average speed for an allocated 13-mile section in the Sussex Downs, and the driver who gets closest to their selected speed will be declared the winner.
As in recent years, the Veteran Car Run provides a fitting grand finale to the Royal Automobile Club’s busy London Motor Week – a week of functions and events to suit all motoring tastes and including the free-to-view Regent Street Motor Show now held annually on the Saturday immediately before the Run. Entrants and spectators wanting to take advantage of the revised routes can find out more information on the official website Veteran Car Run