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This from Naomi Hyland, Binstead. Ed
There is no doubt about it, the proposed Isle of Wight TT race has caused a substantial divide between those who believe it’s a good idea and those who do not.
Those supporting the event have been very vocal in recent weeks, arguing that it will help the Island’s economy and put the island firmly on the road racing map.
Implications on road safety
On the quieter side of the fence, much of the concern is in relation to the implications on road safety. A simple search online shows they have a right to be concerned.
In August 2019, an article on the BBC reported that people are twice as likely to be killed or seriously injured on the Isle of Man’s roads than they are in England, with the ‘road racing culture’ of the Island being largely to blame.
Despite annual road safety campaigns
It is worth noting that these somewhat alarming statistics come about even after annual road safety campaigns (which amongst other things include signage, leaflets, posters, radio features and press conferences attended by the Islands ministers), as well as the introduction of a ‘Road Safety Strategy’ which aims to reduce the number of serious accidents on the Isle of Man by 40% over the next decade.
The fact is that even with dedicated road safety campaigns and government strategies, the Isle of Man’s roads are still twice as dangerous as roads in England. Only last year part of the proposed Isle of Wight TT race track- the Military road, was listed as one of the UK’s top ten most dangerous roads.
Much work for the authorities to do
To ensure that this event does not lead to the Isle of Wight’s ‘Killed and Seriously Injured’ statistics rivaling or exceeding those of the Isle of Man, it is clear that the Isle of Wight Council and Police have a lot of work to do.