Birmingham Superprix - Britain's most controversial circuit?
1983 - A new circuit proposal has been put forward
- David Page
- February 16, 2007
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After a quiet start of the year, Martin Hone and council leaders had finally found a suitable circuit to host a road race in Birmingham. In October, Martin Hone had submitted a package of proposals to the city council, now believed that he had found a 2.5-mile route around the city hat would fit the bill.
This came after scrapping a controversial proposal to run the circuit through the Lee Bank council housing estate. The proposed circuit was extremely cramped and far too tight to race cars there. Plus it would invoke many complaints regarding about disruption and noise from the residents of the Lee Bank council estate.
The Chairman of the city’s General Purposes Committee, Councillor Bernard Zissman, who was chairing a working party investigating the road race scheme, said that they had asked a small group to find a route and report within a month or six weeks. He was quoted by the Birmingham Post on 23rd October.
“We have overcome the objections in principle. We think that all the problems can be met if we can get a route that will satisfy statutory bodies and will be satisfactory to residents.”
Martin Hone would not reveal the route to the media until it was inspected by Cllr Zissman at the following week. It was claimed that the drawings will be still submitted to the West Midlands county highways department and to get approval from the police. Martin Hone and the city council had been hoping to stage motor racing in time for next year’s Rotary International Conference in Birmingham, but it now appeared that 1985 would be a realistic date to aim for.
The city council were sticking to their original reasons of hosting a road race in the streets of Birmingham as they always wanted to stage a major tourist attraction which would show Birmingham in its best light and they were convinced that the new route would provide the best backcloth possible for satellite television cameras.
Finally on 7th September, details were revealed to the media of the new 2.5-mile proposed circuit for the Birmingham Grand Prix which racing cars could be zooming around in two years’ time. Martin Hone wanted to bring some publicity into the newly proposed route. So the city council and Hone suggested a big, revived On The Streets motoring spectacular round the circuit next October as a dummy run and curtain raiser for the 1984 International Motor Show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. He claimed that he had been working on the newly proposed route for three years.
It was proposed that the new circuit would stage racing over a Bank Holiday, with practicing on the Sunday and full event on the Monday so it would cause minimal upheaval to everyday traffic and bus services but would also cause maximum attraction as an international spectacle to the world.