London ULEZ expansion threatens the future of major Mini event

by Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
18 January 2023 2 min read
London ULEZ expansion threatens the future of major Mini event
Photo: BMW

This year’s London to Brighton Mini Run will “probably be the last”, according to the event’s administrator, Samantha Emery. In a post on the London & Surrey Mini Owners Club Facebook page, Emery said this was due to Transport for London’s decision to extend the capital’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

The event, which attracts around 2000 Minis every year, has been running since 1986, when 200 Minis turned up for the convoy to the coast. Although classics built more than 40 years ago and registered for the historic tax class are exempt from the ULEZ payment, many of the Minis on the London to Brighton run will be forced to pay the £12.50 daily charge. This is on top of the £15 daily Congestion Charge.

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Speaking about the 2023 event, Emery said: “If it’s always been on your bucket list of things to do one year, then I’d recommend getting a ticket for this year, or you may miss the amazing experience.”

The London ULEZ was extended in 2021 to cover all parts of the city within the North and South Circular Roads. It is being expanded again on 29 August, 2023 to cover all London boroughs.

A spokesperson for Transport for London (TfL) told Classic Car Weekly: “The exemption from ULEZ for classic cars aligns with the government definition of a historic vehicle. We believe that this is a fair exemption because it covers vehicles that are harder to adapt to the standards.

“This strikes a balance between allowing rallies to continue and cleaning up London’s toxic air.”

Probably the last London to Brighton Mini Run

Earlier this month, the organisers of the Historic Commercial Vehicle Society (HCVS) London to Brighton Run announced the cancellation of this year’s event. The event was moved to May 14 due to the coronation of Charles III, which caused problems for suppliers and volunteers.

The trustees also cited the ULEZ, saying: “Another problem not yet resolved was finding a new Run start outside the London LEZ (soon ULEZ) to avoid lorry permits for some vehicles being required.”

The HCVS London to Brighton Run is expected to return in May 2024, but the future of the London to Brighton Mini Run is less certain. Get your tickets for this year’s run or risk missing out on one of the country’s most popular Mini events.

Read more

What ULEZ means for drivers in London
Hagerty explores what the Ultra Low Emission Zone means for London’s classic car owners
9 modern classic cars to beat the ULEZ charge

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  • Andy says:

    It could carry on in a slightly different format. I would suggest that Epsom Downs might be an alternative start. A slightly shorter route but it suits the Pioneer Run.

  • A. R. Camplin says:

    I’m not against extending the zone, history vehicles are already exempt from it so it wont affect their owners. We’ve got to do something about the polluting of London’ air.

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