UNESCO joins bat­tle against cities ban­ning clas­sics

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News - Tom Sey­mour

Euro­pean car clubs have joined forces with UNESCO (United Na­tions Ed­u­ca­tional Sci­en­tific and Cul­tural Or­gan­i­sa­tion) to help bat­tle clas­sic bans in cities.

FIVA (the or­gan­i­sa­tion rep­re­sent­ing Euro­pean clas­sic car clubs) has per­suaded UNESCO to give its pa­tron­age to more than 40 clas­sic events across the world in recog­ni­tion of clas­sics be­ing a key part of the world’s mod­ern his­tory. The col­lab­o­ra­tion is part of the World Mo­tor­ing Heritage Year (WMHY).

It is hoped UNESCO’s back­ing will help con­vince au­thor­i­ties not to ban clas­sics from city cen­tres as Paris has (see be­low). Speak­ing ex­clu­sively to CCW, Gau­tam Sen, FIVA’s vice pres­i­dent of ex­ter­nal re­la­tions, says: ‘Part of WMHY in­volves a wider re­mit to bring at­ten­tion to how im­por­tant vin­tage ve­hi­cles are part of hu­man­ity’s cul­ture and should not be banned from en­ter­ing city cen­tres.’

Lon­don over­turned its de­ci­sion to ban older ve­hi­cles from en­ter­ing the cap­i­tal’s Ul­tra Low Emis­sions Zone (ULEZ) from 7 Septem­ber 2020. How­ever, Ox­ford is still ex­pected to ban clas­sic ve­hi­cles from its city cen­tre from 2020.

WMHY kicked off on 10 March with the first event in as­so­ci­a­tion with FIVA’s cel­e­bra­tions in the US at the Amelia Is­land Con­cours d’El­e­gance. A fur­ther 42 clas­sic car events are sched­uled to be in­cluded in WMHY with UNESCO pa­tron­age.

The UK’s WMHY events in­cluded Drive-It Day on 23 April, the Lon­don to Brighton Run on 1 May and MGLive! on 5-6 June (see page 8).

Ini­tially deemed as a snub by many, FIVA is of­fer­ing select events this year with a preser­va­tion award – but none are from the UK. Events to get the award in­clude Villa d’Este Con­cours d’El­e­gance, Le Mans Clas­sic and Cartier Travel & Style Con­cours d’El­e­gance.

FIVA as­sures CCW that events had to put them­selves for­ward for spe­cial recog­ni­tion and none from the UK did. It also says four events were sub­mit­ted for in­clu­sion in the wider WMHY from the UK, and all were ac­cepted.

Peb­ble Beach in Cal­i­for­nia is one of the events be­ing used to show city bu­reau­crats that clas­sics are

part of our heritage.

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