Road closing laws amended to prevent rained off NW200 & UGP

By Simon Patterson -

TT & road races

 10 December 2013 17:05

An amendment to Northern Irish law has been passed that will see roadracing clubs gain the power to adjust road closing orders to suit weather conditions, in an attempt to prevent a repeat of recent washouts of the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix.

The amended bill will provide organising clubs with the flexibility to either bring forward up to two of their practice or race days or to adjust the times at which roads are scheduled to be closed.

Transport Minister Danny Kennedy introduced the road closures bill in the Assembly, which could open the door to racing on Sundays at meetings such as the North West 200. The minister secured accelerated passage for the bill through the Assembly to ensure that the new arrangements would be in place for the 2014 racing season.

Clerk of the Course at the UGP, Noel Johnston said: “I am heartened by the news that the amended bill has been passed as it will allow us to build robust contingency plans into our overall event management plan for Bike Week.

“We’ve lost a lot of money over the years due to terrible weather conditions, so the flexibility to change which days we run the races at a day’s notice will certainly help safeguard the future of the event.