A red-letter day in the history of British motoring saw the Emancipation Run from London to Brighton to celebrate the passing into law of the Locomotives on the Highway Act, which raised the speed limit for ‘light locomotives’ from 4 mph to 14 mph and abolished the requirement to be preceded by a man on foot


Saturday 14th November 1896

A red-letter day in the history of British motoring saw the Emancipation Run from London to Brighton to celebrate the passing into law of the Locomotives on the Highway Act, which raised the speed limit for ‘light locomotives’ from 4 mph to 14 mph and abolished the requirement to be preceded by a man on foot. Organisers’ instructions stated: ‘Owners and drivers should remember that motor cars are on trial in England and that any rashness or carelessness might injure the industry in this country.’ Only 14 of the 33 starters reached Brighton, although it was hinted that a train had transported one of those fourteen finishers and that it had to be covered with mud before crossing the finishing line!


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