End of the road for the Mount?

Bill Doran (AJS, 53) heads a field of 350cc runner. Others include Les Archer (Velocette, 61), Geoff Duke (Norton, 67), Syd Barnett (AJS, 71) and Dickie Dale (Velo, 63).

The sole remaining English road circuit, Oliver’s Mount, is in grave danger of being lost to the sport following months of speculation, with news on social media that suggests all this year’s planned events have been cancelled.

The public park on the outskirts of Scarborough with a sports field and football pitches on the large grass area at the top, saw motorcycle racing take place on the perimeter road for the first time in 1946 and races and hill climbs have continued without a break until this season.

During last season’s September meeting two separate accidents, when motorcycles went into the crowd, injuring numerous spectators, caused the ACU to review the circuit’s licence, which was subsequently withdrawn until certain safety measures were improved. To date the organisers, the Auto 66 Club, have failed to make the changes required.

After several months of silence, causing unrest among riders and spectators alike, many of whom had pre-booked tickets and paid for hotels and are still waiting for refunds, the Auto 66 Club put out a statement on social media.

“It is with utmost sadness that we have to inform road race fans, riders, teams and the media that the 2018 Oliver’s Mount Cock O’The North road races on June 23/24, 2018 have had to be cancelled.

“Auto 66 Club and its team of volunteers have been working with Scarborough Borough Council for the last six months trying to bring the circuit up to the new strict, safety standards that will ensure not just the road races in 2018 continue, but also future events at Oliver’s Mount. So far, the new required safety levels have not been achieved and so it is with a heavy heart that we have to cancel the 2018 Cock O’The North road races.

“With regards to ticket refunds we will continue to try and resolve this complicated situation as soon as possible. We continue to work closely with Scarborough Council to try to rectify the current situation and will update with any news in the coming weeks.”

The long-time promoter and driving force behind the Auto 66 and Scarborough races, Peter Hillaby, is in ill health and without someone else stepping forward to invest in the changes needed it is difficult to see motorcycle racing returning to Oliver’s Mount.

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