Brighton’s car rallies branded ‘ridiculous’ by leading councillor

Motor rallies were described as “ridiculous” by a councillor who said that cars’ days were numbered.

Green councillor Sue Shanks made the comments in light of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement of an end to new petrol and diesel cars,

She spoke as councillors discussed future motoring events in Madeira Drive, Brighton, at a “virtual” meeting of the council’s Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture yesterday (Thursday 19 November).

Councillor Shanks also said that the 125-year-old Veteran Car Run was a lovely event.

But, she said, motoring events harmed people in terms of pollution and congestion.

She recalled a time when she was in New Road, Brighton, when a Mini in flames careered down the street before crashing and burning out.

Councillor Shanks said: “A Mini rally seems to me ridiculous. I think a lot of these are. We love our history but we also recognise that the world has changed.

“We have to recognise that not all of these events are not suitable for the era where we are trying to combat pollution and congestion in our city.

“I know this is not a universally held view but it’s my view.”

She said that she owned both an electric car and bike.

Councillor Shanks added: “They are not the solution either in the long term but they are a solution in the short term for quietness and lack of pollution.”

At the meeting, the committee gave “landlord’s consent” on behalf of Brighton and Hove City Council for a full programme of events in Madeira Drive in 2021.

The meeting also debated a report on the future of motoring events in Madeira Drive in response to Conservative councillor Robert Nemeth.

Councillor Nemeth had called for a deeper look into the contribution such events made to Brighton and Hove after the seafront road was closed to cars during the first coronavirus lockdown in the spring.

He wanted assurance that motoring events would continue in the future after he did not receive confirmation at an earlier council meeting.

His request also followed a move by Green councillors to stop new motoring events, as well as comments at other council meetings calling for an end to races and rallies on the road.

Councillor Sue Shanks

He said: “One element of the overarching concerns is the road itself may not be configured in a helpful way to motoring events when Madeira Drive’s future is finally set out.

“The Brighton National Speed trials is the most famous example, the oldest motoring race on the planet, and the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, the old crocks, which has gone on since 1896 and is the longest-running motoring event of all motoring events.

“There are probably dozens of events. With this in mind, it is worth highlighting the annual economic contribution of these historic motoring events which probably runs into tens of millions of pounds.

“Of course hotels, B&Bs, shops and attractions and all sorts of other local businesses benefit. The effects are far-reaching.”

Councillor Robert Nemeth

The council’s head of sport and leisure Ian Shurrock said that the outdoor events team was working with the transport and major projects teams to ensure future changes had a “minimal impact” on the events programme.

The report before councillors said that there were no viable alternatives to staging or finishing major motoring events in Madeira Drive, which can be closed for up to 28 day each calendar year.

  1. Nigel Furness Reply

    It seems to me that that the reason why most ‘Green’ Councillors have such scant respect for the history and culture of our City is becase , with few exceptions, they are incomers who wish to become part of the hideous social experiment being perpetrated upon us by their Party.
    But, as I’ve said before, given enough rope they will surely hang themselves.
    Unseen, unheard, however, the Resistance is growing, so think very carefully you ‘Greens’ and quit your meddling because, while many merely whinge about your actions, others are quietly organising towards your total and final destruction in this City at the next Local Elections in 2023.
    Suffice to say that if the results in 2015 came as a shock to you, “YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHIN’ YET!!

    • Melee Reply

      If we decide as a city to neither vote for the Green Party nor the Labour Party collectively next time around, we’ll be voting either Liberal Democrat or Conservative.

      Rest assured, whatever party you and your affiliates Matt Single and Louise Creffield and all the other active or inactive far right and far left groups and members and affiliates floating around the comments section of this news blog are… we’ll not be collectively voting for any party you are affiliated to or with because normal measured people want to be led by normal measured people. Normal measured people don’t like extremism or extremist politics.

  2. Rostrun Reply

    To missquote another lady “She would say that wouldn’t she”…

  3. Rostrum Reply

    To missquote another lady “She would say that wouldn’tshe”….

  4. Mr Andrew Camper Reply

    This obsession with bikes and electric cars is destroying the very nature of business in Brighton which is historically trips to the seaside. The history of the area is one of interest. No one is going to visit here to see electric bikes and cars and cycle lanes and no parking provision.
    These politically correct wannabes are ruining the place with frightening speed.
    We need to celebrate our history and historical events not leave them to decay and rot and go to ruin. Including motoring events unique to Brighton.

    • Fiona Reply

      There have been plenty of people coming to Brighton for ‘trips to the seaside’ since before fossil-fuel powered cars were around (the Pavilion is a clue…) and there will be plenty after they are obsolete. The London-Brighton bike ride is already reasonably well-known?
      As for ‘no one is going to visit here to see … cycle lanes’, well, they probably aren’t visiting to see car parking spaces either, or for the most part, the cars parked in them – just because there are some historic car rallies, doesn’t mean that the majority of cars in Brighton are tourist attractions! Decent cycling infrastructure, however, benefits both locals and tourists.

  5. Rolivan Reply

    Does Cllr Shanks own a car or does She lease it under a Departmental Leasing agreement?
    This is a woman who would allow the Council to borrow about £40m to finance the biggest white elephant the South Coast has seen.The Greens are quick enough blame The Government for any wrongdoing but always manage to mismanage Council Taxpayers money so far since 2010 to the tune of at least £60m.

  6. Nick Reply

    So councillor Shanks thinks the days of cars are numbered. But she owns one! Yes, it is electric but that’s the point. Cars will continue – people want them. The technology will change and pollution will decrease. And with electric cars congestion doesn’t matter as the engine isn’t running then so no pollution

    So perhaps the “green” councillors should stop trying to turn the tide of change and trying to remove cars. They are here to stay. The greens should instead accept this and try to make cars non polluting, promote electric/other new technologies. Help early adopters. And, yes, promote other means of transport too/walking. But trying to uninvent the car, price or congestion them off the street just won’t work. And that’s shown by the “green” councillor themselves – against cars for people, but they own one themselves!

  7. Nathan Adler Reply

    These events are part of the historic patchwork of Brighton tourism and bring not just get financial benefit but are loved by hundreds of thousands. The pollution caused by these is absolutely insignificant and Green Councilors trying to ban them are once again virtue signaling rather than actually achieving anything meaningful.

  8. Greens Out Reply

    She’s just another example of the demented lunatics running, ruining, this so-called council.

    Get lost Sue.

  9. Chaz Reply

    Nice to see the Greens proving they will never lose an opportunity to prove how out of touch they are.
    That is the problem with being in a Student City. Only those direct numpties and indirect support elements keep them in power.
    Pathetic but we are used to it.

  10. bradly23 Reply

    “normal measured people” = fake party : btw, The pollution caused by these is absolutely insignificant and Green Councillors trying to ban them are once again virtue signaling = hear, hear, twice =

  11. Hove Man Reply

    The Veteran Car Run is an important part of Brighton’s history, and has been loved by many people for many years. Hopefully the Greens and Cllr Shanks will soon become part of its history as well. But, unlike the veteran cars, they will be a very dark memory of a group of people who managed to do more damage to the area than Hitler achieved.

  12. Joe Stains Reply

    As soon as I read the headline, I’d don’t need to read any further to just KNOW that it would be a Green councillor at the centre of this story

  13. TP Reply

    The council keep banging on about zero carbon, climate change, pollution, alternative modes of transport which is all very commendable and aspirational but when are they going to convert their own considerable fleet of petrol/diesel powered vehicles to electric?
    When are they going to insist that all the contractors they use have electric vehicles?
    Electric police vehicles, fire service vehicles, ambulances. All of the many non electric commercial vehicles that supply service to the city, will they be banned? I’ve not yet seen an electric powered 18 wheeler. Have they insisted that all taxis should be electric?
    Fully electric buses?

  14. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    A key point, not mentioned in the article, is that over a million people are killed on the roads each year. Those protracted last moments of agony are a horrible way to leave the world. There has to be a better way of travel, whichever form that might take. What’s more, does anybody, while dying in other ways, think, “oh, if only I had spent more time driving”? Naturally, some activities entail it, and one picture an interest in a scenic view, but as one watches so many vehicles go by, it is to have a sight of drudgery (“drive time”). Life is but 27,000 days, which is not many (and how many of those are left?), and that time can be given to more fulfilling things. The evolving technology of automobiles, and the nature of society (partly fomented by the pandemic), is likely to take many forms; much change.

    • Greens Out Reply

      so electric cars won’t kill anyone then? Is that what you’re saying? I’d argue they’ll kill more as youcan’t hear the hateful things.

      • Christopher Hawtree Reply

        These are early days but the great possibility is that driverless automobiles will have swifter, less-distracted reactions. My point remains: an eternal question is how to best fill those swiftly-passing 27,000 days of life. Is commuting human fulfilment? This year has brought many large questions which cannot be swiftly answered.

  15. Roy Pennington Reply

    whilst Christopher Hawtree is right to mention the UN World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims Nov 15th ended last week the decade of action, it is not churlish to point out that UK is very low viz: no. 179/183 of 2.42 Death Rate Per 100,000 compared with top of the list ZIMBABWE at 61.90…. not sure what the link with the pandemic and its fomentation other than that all the Klaxon-ringing since it started reflects sheer dishonesty, motivated not by medical concerns but political ones….
    Btw, RIP and “Those (deaths, whose) protracted last moments of agony are a horrible way to leave the world.”

  16. Robin McCormack Reply

    Stop students voting in areas they don’t permanently live in then the greens and labour will not get in again

    • Jonathan Simons Reply

      Just labour. All the predominantly student areas like Moulsecoomb are core labour areas.

    • Nico Rjinders Reply

      Do any other towns and cities have students do we know?

      Are students in the majority in wards like Westdene?

    • Graham Reply

      Just how do you propose to do this? Ban anyone from voting who hasn’t lived in the same house for 10 years or more, because they might be too much of a newcomer, and you can’t be certain they’re going to hang around? Or just ban all students from voting, because you don’t like the way they vote – in which case, you might want to look if there are any other groups that don’t agree with you in sufficiently large numbers, and see if you can withdraw the vote from them? Maybe teachers, or NHS workers?

  17. SamC Reply

    Green councillor Sue Shanks is so out of touch with the epople she is elected to serve it is shameful.

    • Nico Rjinders Reply

      Bizarre then how she keeps getting reelected.

  18. Joe L Reply

    Hilarious how we have lots of people screaming how out of touch the greens are, yet seem to think it’s only students voting for them. They might need to re-examine who they think is out of touch- especially given the people who still own these cars are typically extremely rich. They are wonderful cars, but what on earth is wrong with simply having them in a museum?

    • Greens Out Reply

      Maybe they might want to use them for what they were intended for.

      I have another great example of an old thing that doesn’t really serve much purpose in modern life but would be wonderful to see them used again.

      The Stocks.

      Then we could put every Coucil employed/Councillor/Council advisor that use the phrases ‘Lessons will be learned’…’We aim to achieve’…’We have achieved’ (both lies)…’Moving forward’ etc etc… in them then we could get the council to waste money (they like doing this because it’s not THEIR money, it’s ours) on buying over priced rotten tomatoes from Taj the Grocer and having a big family day out on the seafront (opposite the West Pier would be good to remind them of their financial folly) and pelt the useless a holes with rotten veg.

      Who’s in?

  19. Rob Heale Reply

    Is this the same Councillor who:-
    1. Voted to spend £40.2 MILLION on a folly on the seafront? The i360!
    2. Chaired the Meeting that closed down the N.H.S. Community Mental Health Centre and Social Care buildings in Buckingham Road. Sadly yes!

Leave a Reply


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.