MOTORSPORTS such as Formula One racing could be held in UK cities for the first time under plans to grant councils the power to authorise the events.

David Cameron said the move would mean "more races, more events, more money coming into our country" as he unveiled a shake-up to local government in England and Wales which will enable town halls to sign off road closures and authorise car rallies and racing on local roads.

The Scottish Government said it was in talks with Westminster about replicating the changes north of the Border, though any decision to change the rules in Scotland will be influenced by the outcome of a safety review launched in the wake of the Jim Clark Rally tragedy in which two spectators were killed.

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F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone said the shake-up was a "step in the right direction". But he added: "It just depends on what we can come up with commercially because how are we going to fund it?

"The news is good, but I don't know whether you'd have street racing because it's not cheap to put on something that's safe. Street racing is bloody expensive."

A spokesman for Transport Scotland said: "We are engaging with the UK Government to ensure that Scottish Ministers have full discretion to implement any legislative changes which would allow for motor sports events on closed roads.

"This will provide flexibility to consider an appropriate authorising framework, including a role for Scottish Ministers as well as relevant local roads authorities."