‘I WON’T STOP YOU EN­JOY­ING YOUR CLAS­SICS’

Chris Grayling – a Trans­port Sec­re­tary who hankers af­ter Ford Mus­tangs – vows to sup­port rights of his­toric ve­hi­cle own­ers

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Front Page - David Simis­ter

S ec­re­tary of State for Trans­port Chris Grayling MP says the Gov­ern­ment will do all it can to sup­port clas­sic car own­ers – and the idea that his­toric ve­hi­cles could be driven off the roads by fu­ture leg­is­la­tion is ‘for the birds’.

The min­is­ter sup­ports chang­ing the present def­i­ni­tion of what con­sti­tutes His­toric Ve­hi­cle sta­tus from the cur­rent 40-year rolling rule to a 30-year sys­tem, and says he will op­pose leg­is­la­tion that would hin­der clas­sics be­ing used for en­joy­ment. He says: ‘The tra­di­tion of get­ting into a great car and driv­ing to the pub on a sunny Sunday af­ter­noon is a tra­di­tion go­ing back more than a cen­tury. My col­leagues and I won’t do any­thing to im­pede peo­ple be­ing able to do that.’

S ec­re­tary of State for Trans­port Chris Grayling MP says the Gov­ern­ment will do all it can to sup­port clas­sic own­ers – and the idea that his­toric ve­hi­cles could be driven off the roads by fu­ture leg­is­la­tion is ‘for the birds’.

The min­is­ter, speak­ing at a meet­ing of the All Party Par­lia­men­tary His­toric Ve­hi­cle Groups at­tended by CCW, says his­toric ve­hi­cles not only re­flect the great­ness of Bri­tain’s car in­dus­try past and present, but that they add char­ac­ter to the coun­try’s roads and are an in­valu­able part of the na­tion’s her­itage.

The min­is­ter – whose first car was a Ford Capri MkI and says his dream clas­sic is a Ford Mus­tang con­vert­ible – also stresses his sup­port for chang­ing the present def­i­ni­tion of what con­sti­tutes His­toric Ve­hi­cle sta­tus from the cur­rent 40-year rolling rule to the 30-year sys­tem used in other Euro­pean coun­tries.

He says: ‘The tra­di­tion of get­ting into a great car, drop­ping the roof and driv­ing to the pub on a sunny Sunday af­ter­noon is a tra­di­tion go­ing back more than a cen­tury, and my col­leagues and I won’t do any­thing to im­pede peo­ple do­ing that.

‘The devel­op­ment of driver­less ve­hi­cles is ex­tra­or­di­nary, and it could very well be the case that in a fu­ture the only cars be­ing driven on Bri­tain’s roads are his­toric ve­hi­cles. But the idea you won’t be able to drive these cars in years to come is for the birds. The idea that we’re out to get clas­sic ve­hi­cle own­ers is sim­ply not the case.’

Sir Greg Knight MP, chair of the All Party Par­lia­men­tary His­toric Ve­hi­cle Group, says he is de­lighted that both Chris Grayling and Min­is­ter of State for Trans­port John Hayes MP, who also spoke at the meet­ing, are sup­port­ers of clas­sics.

Sir Greg says: ‘I am de­lighted Chris Grayling MP, the lead min­is­ter at the Depart­ment for Trans­port, and his num­ber two are both strong sup­port­ers of the his­toric ve­hi­cle move­ment. ‘This can only be good for the fu­ture of our hobby. Chris Grayling knows that the way to cher­ish old cars is to use them and it is clear he has no agenda to dis­cour­age us from do­ing this.’

The Fed­er­a­tion of Bri­tish His­toric Ve­hi­cles Clubs says the fact that a sit­ting trans­port min­is­ter had cho­sen to speak at an All Party Par­lia­men­tary His­toric Ve­hi­cle Group meet­ing re­flects the Gov­ern­ment’s sup­port of clas­sics.

Vice-pres­i­dent Ge­off Lan­caster com­ments: ‘ We could be noth­ing but en­cour­aged by Chris Grayling’s com­ments. I have no doubt that he’ll stick to his word and sup­port clas­sic car own­ers.’

Grayling’s first car was a Ford Capri MkI. He in­sists clas­sics are safe with him.

Chris Grayling, sec­re­tary of State for Trans­port, and MP for Ep­som.

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