Boris issues pollution warning over London grand prix plans

MAYOR Boris Johnson has warned that he will only give proposals for a Formula One grand prix through the streets of central London his blessing if it is environmentally sound.

F1 chiefs last night confirmed a tentative blueprint for a possible race past landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben and the Thames, to which Johnson has given qualified support.

“I am always interested in projects that attract jobs and bring growth,” said Johnson. “The question of air quality and noise impact will have to be looked at. I am broadly positive providing we can satisfy the air quality and noise issues.”

A circuit in the capital would take five days to assemble and three days to dismantle, with three days of racing in between, meaning likely traffic disruption for a fortnight. Noise levels at the start line are equivalent to a jet engine 100 feet away.

It is estimated that the race would cost £35m to stage but might generate more than £100m.

FAST FACTS
A London Grand Prix?
● Proposed circuit starts and finishes on the Mall, taking in Green Park, St James’s Park and Westminster
● Top speeds of 180mph expected to be reached on straights at Piccadilly and Birdcage Walk
● Anticipated lap time of one minute, 34 seconds