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"I Want More Than Vague Assurances" - Isle Of Wight MP Not Convinced By New Motorcycle Event

The Isle of Wight's MP says he fears the Diamond Races event - set to come to the Island next year - will turn Military Road and the rest of the route "into a race track all year round".

Bob Seely says he needs more than "vague assurances" to convince him otherwise.

As Isle of Wight Radio previously reported, the new motorcycle road race is set to take place on a 12.4 mile-long course in the south of the Island.

Organisers say the event will be run under the strict event regulations stipulated by the sports’ governing body, the ACU (Auto Cycle Union).

However, the Island's MP says he has "significant" concerns what the event will mean for cyclists and horse riders.

Mr Seely said:

"Before I reach a view on this, I want to see more engagement with local residents and I would like to hear from parish councils, Isle of Wight Councillors and Islanders. Press releases do not amount to community engagement.

“I am aware a lot of preparatory work has gone into this and I am grateful for the interests of the organisers.

‘Have cyclists been consulted? Have horse owners and riders? What is the opinion of the parish councils that may be affected? What is the opinion of island residents?

"We accept some occasional disruption to life brought by big, one-off events, but we need to make sure that the benefits outweigh the costs. One-off events are good for bringing in visitors, but what we need are long-term gains for the Island."

Organisers of the event insist road safety is at the heart of plans. 

The planned route.

They say they will strive to highlight the paramount importance of safe road use, with attention paid to the safety of riders, spectators and officials, whilst incorporating a strategy to promote road safety.

Mr Seely says he is also worried about noise complaints and speeding. He said:

"We have significant noise and speed issues on the Military Road as it is, which affects the lives of residents along and near it and damage businesses. There are also noise and speed issues on roads elsewhere on the Island.

"Unless long-term funding for noise and speed measures are included on at least the Military Road section, I fear this race may turn the route into a race track all year round. I want to know what the organisers and the Council will do to address this. I want more than vague assurances.

“I will also want more details on how this race will help improve road safety on the Island and how the race organisers, council and police will deal with or reach out to problem drivers.

"I want more information on how this race will impact on cycling, not just over one weekend but in the build-up too. The Military Road is popular cycle route and encouraging cycling is important both for Islanders but also for visitors.”

You can read more about the Diamond Races at iwradio.co.uk - https://www.iwradio.co.uk/news/isle-of-wight-news/isle-of-wight-to-host-thrilling-motorcycle-race-in-2021/.

Let us know your news. @iwightradio. 01983 821777. news @iwradio.co.uk 


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