Annual London to Brighton Run canceled for this year

‘With deep regret,’ British car club cites rise of coronavirus infections

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London to Brighton
Vintage vehicles leave London and drive to the British Channel on the annual Veteran Car Run | Royal Automobile Club photo

The Royal Automobile Club of Britain has announced the cancelation of the 2020 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, which had been scheduled for November 1.

“Given that the Run has taken place without interruption since 1947, this decision has not been taken lightly,” the RAC said in an announcement issued “with deep regret.”

“The organizers (the Veteran Car Run Steering Group) have been working tirelessly with the local authorities along the route to plan a Run which would be safe for the participants, staff and spectators,” the RAC added. “However, respecting the government’s efforts to control the current rise in COVID-19 infections, this is no longer possible.”

The Run commemorates the Emancipation Run of November 1896, which was a celebration of the Locomotive on the Highway Act that raised the speed limit for motorcars from 4 to 14 mph and abolished the need for those vehicles to be preceded by “a man on foot waving a red flag” of warning.

Annual re-enactments of that event began in 1927 and continued until World War II. They were resumed in 1947 after the end of gasoline rationing in Great Britain. The drive from London to the coast of the British Channel at Brighton is open only to cars produced before 1905.

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The 2021 London to Brighton Run date is November 7.

For more information, visit the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run website.

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