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Frequently Asked Questions

Clubs & Organisers

FAQ: Route Authorisation

What is Route Authorisation?

The Motor Vehicles (Competitions and Trials) Regulations 1969 (amended) require that any motoring event which utilises the Public Highway is subject to Authorisation under the legislation. The Department for Transport has authorised The Royal Automobile Club Motor Sports Association Ltd to undertake Authorisations in England and Wales. This legislation is handled by the Competition Authorisation Office (CAO) at Motorsport UK. This function in Scotland is undertaken by the Royal Scottish Automobile Club.

Motorsport UK provides a team of regional Route Liaison Officers who work with clubs, competitors, police authorities and National Parks on every event using the Public Highway to minimise disruption and to ensure that the Road Traffic Act is enforced. Motorsport UK typically undertakes in excess of 220 Authorisations each year.


Do I need Route Authorisation?

The legislation requires that all events, with the exception of those detailed below, are Authorised by the Royal Automobile Club Motor Sports Association Ltd.

The types of events which are authorised automatically, and do not therefore need specific authorisation through the CAO are listed here.

  • An event in which the total number of vehicles driven by the competitors does not exceed twelve, no part of which takes place within eight days of any other part of any other event, where either the other event has the same promoter or the promoters of both events are members of the same club in connection with which the events are promoted (see Regulation 5a for full details).
  • An event on which no merit is attached to completing the event with the lowest mileage, and in which as respects such part of the event is held on the Public Highway, there are no performance tests and no route, and competitors are not timed or required to visit the same places, except that they may be required to finish at the same place by a specified time.
  • An event in which, as respects such part of the event as is held on the Public Highway, merit attaches to a competitor’s performance only in relation to good road behavior and compliance with the Highway Code.
  • An event in which all competitors are members of the armed forces of the Crown, and which is designed solely for the purpose of their service training.

Whilst the legislation grants automatic authorisation for the above events, it is recommended that organisers advise
the local police of such events to ensure that the minimum inconvenience can be ensured whilst the event is in
progress.


When can I apply for Route Authorisation?

Applications for Authorisations (except for Schedule 4 events) can be received a maximum of six and a minimum of two calendar months prior to the proposed date of the event. Applications outside of this period will be rejected.

Motorsport UK registered clubs must first contact the Route Liaison Officer (RLO) for the area concerned as well as the Regional Associations before submitting details to the CAO in order to avoid clashes with other events.

An RLO contact list can be found in the Motorsport UK Resource Centre.


How much does it cost?

In its recommendations for the Control of Motor Rallies legislation, the advisory committee did recommend that no cost should be borne by the general taxpayers for the provision of the Authorisation procedure. The government accepted this recommendation and, therefore, there has to be a charge for the Authorisation of events through the controlling agency.

A list of the current years fees for events held in England and Wales can be obtained from the Motorsport UK Resource Centre.

This fee is calculated on the maximum number of competing vehicles to be stated on the final Authorisation document. This number must not exceed the maximum number of vehicles stated on the original application unless prior agreement has been sought. It is not necessary to forward the fee at first application as charges are advised during the course of Authorisation.


What is Section 33 of the Road Traffic Act?

Section 33 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states that a person must not promote or take part in a trial of any description between motor vehicles on a footpath, bridleway or restricted byway unless authorisation has been sought and obtained from the local authority under this section. When submitting a route for Authorisation you are advised to check the definitive maps held by the local authority involved in order to ascertain whether or not you are required
to obtain section 33 permissions.


What is a Schedule 4 event?

A Schedule 4 event is one that is listed under Schedule 4 of the Motor Vehicles (Competitions and Trials) Regulations as a specified event. These events are held not more than once per calendar year and include historically important events such as the International Rally of Great Britain and the Banbury Run as promoted by the Vintage Motor Cycle Club.


What do I need to provide when applying for Route Authorisation?

The legislation states that when applying for Route Authorisation, organisers must supply the following:

  • A completed E404 Application for Authorisation of a Motoring Event on the Public Highway
  • Two identical tracings of the route drawn from an Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 Landranger map including: –
    • The number of the Ordnance Survey sheet
    • Two intersecting grid lines appropriately numbered
    • The location of any starting and finishing points
    • The times at which the first competitor is expected to leave any starting point and arrive at any finishing point or control (use the 24 hour clock for all times)
    • The location of any control point on a public highway (marked with the letter C)
    • The location of each rest halt (marked with the letter R) and also the length of time it is expected to be open
    • Any point where the route leaves and re-joins the Public Highway must be marked with an ‘X’ and the time which the first competitor leaves and re-joins should also be shown.

NB: Motorsport UK registered clubs must first submit this information to the Route Liaison Officer for the area concerned and also liaise with the Regional Associations regarding the date of the event before submitting to theCAO to avoid clashes.


How do I submit a digital route?

Route Authorisation applications for routes constructed using digital mapping software can now be submitted via email to the CAO mailbox address listed below.

Please refer to the Getting Started in Digital Mapping guide.

Organisers must submit the following:

  • A completed and signed E404 Application for Authorisation of a Motoring Event on the Public Highway. Please contact the CAO office for a list of compatible digital mapping software and file format types.
  • An electronic version of the route including:
    • The location of any starting and finishing points
    • The times at which the first competitor is expected to leave any starting point and arrive at any finishing point or control (use the 24 hour clock for all times)
    • The location of any control point on a public highway.
    • The location of each rest halt and also the length of time it is expected to be open
    • Any point where the route leaves and re-joins the Public Highway, and the time which the first competitor leaves and re-joins should also be shown.

Please send completed application forms, together with the items listed above to: –

Competition Authorisation Office
Motorsport UK
Bicester Moion
OX27 8FY

Tel: 01753 765 075
Email: cao@motorsportuk.org