Unsurprisingly given current conditions in the UK, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has cancelled its annual regional driving day in Yorkshire.
It follows an earlier postponement of the main SMMT Test Day, held each year at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, from May into a later slot around the normal time of Test Day North.
While disappointing for many motoring writers in the north, it’s obvious that in the current climate of restrictions in the UK the event would be a logistical nightmare.
In addition to bringing cars and PR teams up from their bases in the south, the vehicle sanitisation measures, as well as social distancing and masking, would make it difficult for the event to take place as usual.
Not only that but the spectre of further lockdowns still looms, despite the recent ending of the toughest restrictions in favour of a series of gradually relaxing phases.
The cancellation of the event also has the knock-on effect of cancelling the NGMW’s planned second annual pre-SMMT North barbecue.
This event, held for attending PR teams and writers, was a great success in 2019, and was being planned for 2020 too.
It also means we won’t be able to present our annual Car of the Year award either, traditionally given to the winning manufacturer during lunch at SMMT Test Day North.
Hopefully things will return to normal in 2021, and both the Test Day North and the NGMW pre-event barbecue will be able to take place in September 2021.
At present, the planned SMMT Test Day at Millbrook will go ahead on its new, later date.