Local residents to be offered free tickets to Formula E
Published: Thursday 21st May 15
Thousands of people are expected to flock to Battersea Park next month to witness London’s inaugural Formula E race weekend.
And they will be joined by 2,000 local residents who are to be given free tickets to watch these state-of-the-art electric racing cars compete on a 1.8 mile circuit that uses the park’s existing perimeter road.
Formula E is coming to Battersea Park
These 2,000 complimentary tickets will be offered to residents who live near the park, including those from the Doddington, Ethelburga and Latchmere housing estates, and also to pupils who attend schools in the area, members of local amenity groups and some Battersea-based charities.
London’s two races will be held on the weekend of June 27 and 28 and mark the climax of the current Formula E championship season, which has seen the drivers compete in Berlin, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Moscow, Miami and Monaco.
The racing cars use cutting edge electric motors that produce virtually no noise and no harmful emissions. A full speed test drive using a fully-fledged Formula E race car took place in the park at 5am one morning last August and went completely unnoticed – including by those living just yards away.
The council is keen to give its backing to the emerging electric car technology that Formula E is helping develop. It also wants to do what it can to support the globally important British motor racing industry that generates thousands of jobs in the UK’s engineering sector
Staging the London races in Battersea Park means that over the next five years an estimated £1m will be available to fund improvements to the park and pay its ongoing maintenance costs. In addition the race organisers have funded the resurfacing of the previously uneven and rutted Rosary car park and repaired other carriageway defects.
Councillors only gave the event the green light after hearing that the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) had agreed that the park was a suitable venue because its important historical features would not be damaged or compromised. Approval from the HLF was a key consideration because it paid for an extensive range of improvements to Battersea Park between 1998 and 2003.
Councillors have also decided that a section of the park must be kept open for non-ticket holders – so that local people who have no interest in the races but want to visit the park that weekend can still do so.
The council’s environment spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “We believe this will be a great sporting event and we want the maximum number of local people to attend and enjoy this historic occasion. To help ensure this happens we have secured 2,000 free tickets that we will be offering to local residents and children at schools in this part of the borough.
“Battersea will be hosting a major global sporting event and I am sure that many people living locally will be thrilled at the prospect of watching these exciting racing cars in action.
“What is of paramount importance is ensuring that nothing is done that causes harm or damage to the park and its historical features. This was a red line for us and one we have adhered to strictly.
“We have also kept open two sections of the park so that that dog walkers, joggers, strollers and other park users will still be able to visit while the races are on.
“And at a time when local authority budgets are under extreme pressure and other councils are having to drastically reduce their parks maintenance budgets, we have secured investment which will ensure that Battersea Park continues to receive significant funding in the years ahead.”
The race organisers have an action plan in place for the speedy installation and removal of its infrastructure. This process should only take a few days and the park will remain open to the public throughout.
For more information about Formula E, including updates on this year’s championship and details of how to purchase tickets for the London races, visit http://www.fiaformulae.com/