This post was first published by Croydon Advertiser on 16/05/2018.
The London to Brighton Veteran Car Run will return to Croydon in 2018
Spectators will get to see the historic cars reach Croydon from two directions.
The iconic London to Brighton Veteran Car Run is going to run through Croydon again and for the first time in its 122-year history, there will be two routes.
More than 400 pre-1905 veteran cars will be taking part in the 2018 run, on Sunday, November 4, and those who line the streets to watch will get to see the vehicles reach the borough from two directions.
In 2017 the historic cars did not pass through Croydon for the first time since 1955 as the route was diverted away from Thornton Heath, South Croydon and Coulsdon because of roadworks in the centre of Brixton, which would have caused problems for the old cars.
This year, due to increasing Sunday morning congestion on the streets of London and ever-spiralling spectator traffic, there will be two routes between Westminster and Croydon.
Having departed from Hyde Park at sunrise and travelled through the Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner, then down Constitution Hill, past Buckingham Palace, along The Mall and to Parliament Square, the route will split into two.
With last year’s detour to avoid major roadworks in Brixton no longer required, half of the participants will travel by Big Ben over Westminster Bridge and then onto Streatham and Thornton Heath.
Meanwhile, the other half will head past the Westminster Abbey crossing the River Thames via Lambeth Bridge and then taking a parallel journey through Vauxhall, Tooting and Mitcham meeting up with the ‘traditional’ route close to Croydon.
From there the veteran cars will pass through Purley, Coulsdon and Hooley.
The route will continue to Redhill and the mid-way pit stop in Crawley.
Before approving the two new routes, members of the The Royal Automobile Club’s Veteran Car Run (VCR) steering group tested a number of different alternatives.
To best replicate the conditions on the day of the run these were trialled in veteran cars on a Sunday morning.
“Mounting congestion on the streets of south London has been a growing concern among run regulars, so we set out to evaluate several new options and, it was agreed, that the two-route policy was a very suitable solution,” said Ben Cussons, chairman of the VCR Steering Group.
“By splitting the 450-car entry into two groups, it is envisaged that traffic bottlenecks will be halved, quickening the exit out of London, so making the historic pilgrimage to Brighton an even more pleasurable event for all.”