Isle of Wight Road Races has ‘in principle’ support from Isle of Wight council

Here’s the latest news on the Isle of Wight Road Races, planned for October half-term in West Wight

IW Road Races logo

Further to News OnTheWight’s report earlier in the week about the Isle of Wight Road Races, the Isle of Wight council have now confirmed that they have provided ‘in principle’ support, but the Safety Advisory Group has not yet met to discuss the plans.

The Isle of Wight Road Races (IWRR), ‘produced’ by Bestival founders, Josie and Rob da Bank, are planned for 20th-24th October (the half-term holiday). According to briefing notes, Tapnell Farm will likely be hosting the race village and the 8.24 mile course includes Compton, Freshwater, Brook and Chessell.

Role of the Safety Advisory Group
The race organisers and producers were due to to have their application heard by the Safety Advisory Group this week, but plans have only just been received and according to a council spokesperson no meeting has yet taken place.

The council spokesperson told News OnTheWight,

“Plans have now been received allowing a Safety Advisory Group meeting to be convened to start the ongoing role of the SAG.”

They went on to explain,

“The council’s principal role in determining whether an event can proceed is the use of its relevant regulatory powers for matters such as highways and licencing activities including entertainment and sale of alcohol.  This can only be determined once detailed plans have been received and relevant applications have been submitted.

“The Safety Advisory Group (SAG) is a regulatory consultation group facilitated by the Isle of Wight Council which includes other regulators including the police, fire and ambulance. 

“The role of the SAG is to make comments to the event organiser and advise where plans may not meet the legislation, guidance or good practice.  All events need to submit plans for the SAG members to consider within their own professional capacity and expertise. 

“For this particular event it would not proceed without the approval of the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU) a National organisation. Organisers will then need to apply for Secretary of State for approval.”

‘In principle’ support granted
The spokesperson confirmed that a letter providing ‘in principle’ support had been sent to organisers of both planned events, Isle of Wight Road Races, as well as the Diamond Races. They explained,

“The role of the council as regulator is entirely separate from any wider aspiration or views the council may have on the socio-economic issues of any event.

“The Council did issue a letter to both potential race organisers providing them with support in principle, this enabled them to start discussions with the ACU. This did not grant permission for the event to go ahead, the council does not have this ability, as previously stated the ACU grant a race licence and the SAG ensure that the event organisers complies with all legislative requirements.”

Share your views with organisers, not IWC
They went on to add that ‘community engagement’ is the responsibility of the event organiser and would not be undertaken by the council nor should public views or opinions be directed to the SAG.

The spokesperson said,

“The Council is aware that Isle of Wight Road Races (IWRR) have been for a number of weeks actively talking with the Parish Councils, local groups and residents within the area the route and the event may affect and would encourage the community to make contact with IWRR, who can be contacted by emailing [email protected] ”

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12 Comments on "Isle of Wight Road Races has ‘in principle’ support from Isle of Wight council"

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Quote “The Council is aware that Isle of Wight Road Races (IWRR) have been for a number of weeks actively talking with the Parish Councils, local groups and residents within the area the route” Strange that, because the first most people seem to have heard anything much is only this last few days as the press publicised it. Yes there was an awareness that there may be… Read more »

Why are we not surprised as it falls in line with the other pile of tosh that being Diamond Races. This council are a disgrace, we don’t want or need this nonsense. Roll on election time and get rid of this lot, corruption, nepotism and lining pockets that’s all this is about.


Can somebody please state, clearly and unambiguously, who is responsible for allowing an event such as the proposed road races, to take place on the Isle of Wight.

I think the photogragh on the Diamond Races website tells all you need to know, with Cllr Stewart posing alongside organiser Paul Sandford, and Gary Thompson of the ACU, who is clerk for the course and risk assessor for the course?!!! Cllr’s Ward of Sandown and Hutchinson of Freshwater probably are involved as Cabinet members who gave the races approval at council level before any public consultation… Read more »

Apologies photogragh mentioned above was on Isle of Wight County Press Website article dated 29 July 2020 ‘200mph bike event will put Isle of Wight on motorsport map. Not Diamond Races website.
Ironically the Isle of Man are trying to get rid of the races, they have had enough! Makes you think, or should.

It lies with multiple bodies. The Motor Sport Governing Body, designated by the 2017 changes to the 1988 Road Traffic Act issue a permit for the event, at least six months before the event and subject to reviewing the course and safety provisions for the event. This has to be after consultation with a range of people/bodies outlined in the 1988 RTA. The permit issuing body in… Read more »

If it has to go ahead then the organisers should make the event carbon neutral – The Island is a Biosphere Reserve after all. I would also like to see a University undertake a study to see what actual economic benefits are accrued on the Island.

Mark L Francis

Sounds awful.

This is factually incorrect and will lead to comments being ignored, or not properly addressed. If you are concerned about this event, the Road Traffic Act provides you with a legal right to discuss these concerns with the Auto Cycle Union. You should contact them at [email protected] or by post at: Gary Thompson, ACU Ltd, Wood Street, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV21 2YX, to ask for a discussion about… Read more »

Gary Thompson then passes your email (data protection issue possibly) on to our island’s own Rob de Bank to get in touch with you. Not sure what he knows about Superbikes, road racing and safety etc, but they can then say they are in consultation with the general public. Hence Cllr Stewart can then say the organisers are consulting the people and Parish Council. Claptrap!

THINK – do you live in West Wight, how often do you go to West Wight – does this really concern you as an individual? We all put up with what should be a 3 day pop festival shutting off Newport (albeit in one direction only for most of the time) for 5.5 days! Think that says it all. Let the people in West Wight decide if… Read more »
Benny C
I think what concerns everyone is that the cost comes from all our pockets yet we see little benefit, partly because as you rightly say those benefits will be contained in West Wight, and partly because IOWC are truly awful at capturing benefits from events like these. It’s as if they’re made of sand. Wightlink and Red Funnel prosper. But our emergency services get stretched, one bad… Read more »