Government set to change the law surrounding road closing orders11/10/2013
The Vauxhall International North West 200- and Northern Ireland road racing in general- have been given a huge boost by the announcement that the Government is set to change the law surrounding road closing orders to allow promoters greater flexibility to deal with bad weather.
A three month public consultation initiated by Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy following the cancellation of this year’s North West 200 because of torrential rain offered overwhelming support for the proposed changes and the Minister will now seek to have the Bill fast tracked through the Assembly in time for the 2014 season.
“Events like the North West 200, Ulster Grand Prix Week and Circuit of Ireland have an enormous following both locally and internationally and they attract tens of thousands of visitors to Northern Ireland every year.” Kennedy said. “These events and many other similar motor sport meetings are weather dependent. Following the cancellation of the North West 200 in May this year, I made a firm undertaking to all road race organisers that I would examine the situation and work to provide a solution in time for the 2014 season.”
“This is excellent news, for the North West 200, the Ulster Grand Prix and for all of the National road races as well.” North West 200 Event Director Mervyn Whyte, MBE, said on hearing of the decision. “We currently have Tuesday and Thursday for practice and Saturday is our race day and that will stay as it is. It would only ever change if we have an emergency situation as we had in May and this change will give us the flexibility to respond.”
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