Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Bob Seely, says he wants to see more engagement with local residents before he “reaches a view” on the news announced today that Isle of Wight TT ‘Diamond races’ will be coming to the Island in 2021.
“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.”
MP: What is the opinion of Island residents?
The MP, who lives in Mottistone, went on to ask,
“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?”
Comments here and on News OnTheWight’s Facebook Page reveal that the overwhelming response from Islanders today has been one of support the event.
Seely: We need long-term gains for the Island
Bob added that,
“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.”
Seely: “Significant noise and speed issues” which “damage businesses”
The MP went on to assert,
“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.”
Seely: How will this race will help improve road safety?
He also added,
“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.”
Stewart: Very excited to announce another first for the Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight council leader, Dave Stewart, who has made clear his support for the event said,
“We have been working behind the scenes for quite some time now with event specialists looking into the feasibility of such a race meeting, and we are very excited that we can announce another first for the Isle of Wight.
“We are committed to developing and expanding the Island’s economy and this event is sure to thrill local enthusiasts as well as attract visitors from the mainland and indeed northern Europe, which will help to extend the Island’s tourist season and provide another boost to our economy in the final quarter of the year.
“Our emphasis will be on the safety of the event and I am pleased that the organisers are keen to work with us in the coming weeks and months to promote safe motorcycling here on the Island.”