Friday, 16 January 2015

Why I've signed the motorsport noise petition

BLIPPING the throttle on a Jaguar F-type, hearing the scream of that supercharged V8 and the lovely crackle from the exhaust overrun is one of those things I reckon I’d never get tired of doing. 

It’s a truly beautiful bit of automotive acoustics, but I reckon if I moved next door to your house and did it repeatedly, day after day, you’d start to find even the F-type’s sonorous song a bit annoying after a while. It’s the same story with anyone who thinks they can get away with playing with the Black Eyed Peas in the next room – noise, when you’re not expecting it, is utterly annoying and thoroughly deserving of a strongly-worded Post-It Note.

But what if you move somewhere where a bit of racket is to be expected – in fact, where a bit of racket is actually encouraged? I reckon that’s a different story. Luckily, about 36,000 of you happen to agree with me, which is why an ongoing petition to protect motor racing circuits from people who move in next door and then complain about the noise is well on its way to getting debated at Westminster.

I completely get where the likes of Mallory Park, brought to its knees two years ago by a noise-related complaint, and Mildenhall Stadium, which is currently fighting its next door neighbours in the Supreme Court, are coming from. You can’t just move in across the street from a motor racing circuit that’s been there for years, find it a bit annoying and then take the operators to the cleaners.

I grew up in a house less than a mile from RAF Woodvale, which has been there since Spitfires were taking off and predates the nearby homes by at least 30 years.  Equally, the place I put my head down for the night during the working week is less than 50 yards from the A1, and I’m not exactly in a position to moan about what’s been the road from London to Edinburgh since the Romans set up shop here. If I didn’t like either, I’d just move somewhere else.

If you value going to somewhere like Oulton Park or Donington and you enjoy watching racing, then go online and sign the petition. Britain is the de facto motorsport capital of the world – just ask all the F1 teams based within an hour of Silverstone – and it needs protecting from the numpties next door.

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