Bike fans must respond to public consultation on road closing orders for NI road races

With just a few days to go until the public consultation ends on the proposal for an amendment to the road closure bill for road races, the promoters of the Ulster Grand Prix are urging bike fans to make a response. 

The amended bill seeks to provide events such as the Ulster Grand Prix and the North West 200 with the flexibility to either bring forward up to two of their practice or race days or to adjust the times on which roads are scheduled to be closed.

This would allow race organisers a contingency plan when, for example, bad weather forecasts indicate that racing would be compromised on the scheduled days. The total number of days on which roads can be closed will remain at three.

Clerk of the Course at the Ulster Grand Prix Noel Johnston said: “On Thursday 15th August this year we had to cut the Dundrod 150 races short thanks to torrential rain. As soon as the decision was taken, fans started asking if we could reschedule the event for the following day, as the forecast looked much better.

“Unfortunately under current legislation we’re unable to do that, and it’s very frustrating. On that Friday, we had the fans, the competitors, the infrastructure and the sunshine we needed – but no racing could take place.

“This amended bill would be an enormous boost to a sport which has, over the years, lost a lot of revenue thanks to the weather. The Ulster Grand Prix is of significant importance economically and as an international race, puts Northern Ireland on the world stage.

“It’s by no means a foregone conclusion that the amended bill will be approved so I can’t stress this enough – if you are a race fan that feels strongly about this issue, please respond to the consultation before it closes on 7th October. We don’t want to lose this opportunity which if successful, will help safeguard the future of our sport,” he added.

To support the proposal for a road races amendment bill, please email your comments to or post to:

JH Anketell MBE,
Department for Regional Development
Transport Policy
Strategy & Legislation Division
Clarence Court
10-18 Adelaide Street

The closing date for all responses is Monday 7th October 2013.

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