Supercars are on their way to Goodwood

A pectacular 'supercar' event proposed for the 2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed has been given the go-ahead – but with warnings of potential traffic problems.

After serious concerns were expressed over the prospect of jams and congestion, the northern area development control committee imposed a limit of 15,000 on the number of tickets to be sold.

It was also agreed to urge Goodwood to make sure adequate traffic arrangements are in place on the day.

The event, to take place at the motor circuit on the Thursday before next year's Festival, will feature exotic road cars, and is aimed at reflecting press days held during the circuit's heyday in the 1950s by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

The committee was told 'supercar' was a word usually used for a 'high-end sports car,' with a highly-superior performance.

It should be 'sleek and eye-catching' and its price should be 'one in a rarified atmosphere of its own.'

Special consent was needed because the number of people expected was said to be more than 5,000. The Festival of Speed is held in Goodwood Park.

A Goodwood spokesman told the committee an attendance of 15,000 would be an optimistic view, and the hope was for about 10,000.

Westhampnett Parish Council said the application effectively extended the Festival of Speed from three to four days, and meant there would be disruption of traffic in the area.

The forecast of more than 5,000 could be a 'huge under-estimate'.

Singleton Parish Council said it recognised the high quality of events at Goodwood, but was concerned about additional traffic congestion.

Cllr Elizabeth Hamilton said the effects of Goodwood events on northern parts of the district, including Midhurst and Petworth, were significant.

People in these areas had their life disrupted while events were on. "The Festival of Speed is known as the festival of congestion and pollution," she added.

The Goodwood spokesman said the concept of a supercar Thursday was to give motor manufacturers a chance to demonstrate their latest supercars.

Cars would drive a single flying lap. It was also anticipated there would be a static display of older supercars.

Plans for an evening race at the motor circuit on September 20, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Goodwood Revival, were also approved.