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Petition Tag - hot rods
Wimbledon Stadium has been hosting various motor sport events for over 80 years. It is the last venue of its kind in London, and due to the layout it is unique in terms of the atmosphere a passionate crowd can create while watching the racing there, and the buzz the drivers can get while racing there.
Although unfortunately Speedway is not currently a feature at the stadium, the future of Hot Rod, Stock Car and Banger racing at the venue is now under severe threat from the effects of Transport for London's Low Emission Zone (LEZ), which charges many of the racers up to £200 per day to enter the LEZ.
These drivers do not race for profit, they race for the love of their sport and to entertain the public, so paying £200 to bring their race car into London is, in the vast majority of cases, simply not viable.
For a couple of years now the promoters of the racing at Wimbledon Stadium, Spedeworth Motorsports, have been in contact with Transport for London and initially the Mayor's office in an attempt to obtain an exemption from the LEZ charge for drivers bring their race cars to Wimbledon Stadium. The requests have fallen on deaf ears to date on the basis that offering an exemption would 'set a precedent' for further requests.
The LEZ already offers an exemption to 'showman's vehicles' where those vehicles are used 'during the performance', or 'for the purpose of providing the performance', or 'used for carrying performance equipment'. We believe that our racers can arguably fulfill all of these requirements to obtain an exemption.
With further even more restrictive changes due to come in for the LEZ in January 2012, motor sport at Wimbledon Stadium is under severe threat - the more cost to the drivers to race, the less drivers will race, and the knock-on effect of lower crowds will mean that racing is no longer viable for Spedeworth Motorsports to continue with their renting the stadium. The stadium owners do have other events at the stadium such as greyhound racing, a Sunday market and boot fairs, but they do rely heavily on the income from the motor sport.
The MP for Wimbledon, Stephen Hammond, has promised his support for a petition along these lines.
We support the aims of the LEZ to improve the air quality in the London area, and what we are asking would be a drop in the ocean in terms of the overall picture.
We appeal to all lovers of motor sport everywhere and even greyhound racing to sign this petition to show your support for Wimbledon Stadium, before it's too late and the stadium is added to the list of demised sporting venues in London and the UK.