I was very pleased to read in the Crawley Observer that the Mayor and Cllr Peter Smith have had a meeting with the organisers of the Veteran Car Run with a view to bringing the Run back to the High Street.
I really hope that agreement can be reached to return the halfway stop to its rightful home in the High Street. The atmosphere there has always been amazing with the very large crowd of cheering and waving spectators. That very warm welcome is really appreciated after having negotiated the London traffic and safely completed the first 30 miles of the journey. I am a regular participant on the Run with my 1904 Wolseley or with a friend on her 1904 De Dion Bouton.
I don’t know of any participant that wanted the stop moved from the High Street. There was real disappointment and grave concerns when the move was announced. These concerns were proved correct and every participant I have spoken to was unhappy with the Honda garage stop. There was far less space, no atmosphere, and the traffic around the garage was horrendous. I’m not sure why the organisers are saying that we need a covered area for vehicle repairs. This certainly isn’t a requirement of any of the veteran car owners I have spoken to.
In his column last week Cllr Peter Smith mentioned that there will be a cost to the council in bringing the stop back to the High Street. I trust that the residents will agree that this is a cost worth paying as the run boosts the image of Crawley enormously. The run is an international event and is widely reported around the world. The High Street stop has always been extremely popular and I know it draws numerous visitors from outside the town. That has to be good for the local economy. Incidentally, the run isn’t free to participants but costs us £416 to enter a car to drive the 60 miles to Brighton. The whole event is extremely costly to stage and without the considerable financial input from the many sponsors it could not take place.
David Ralph, Bewbush