The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy (TT) is possibly one of the most famous motorcycle races in the world. The event takes place on public roads that are closed for several weeks in May and June. Due to the high speeds, bumps, jumps, and typical road obstacles still present, it's been called one of the most dangerous racing events in the world. The event has had the unenviable reputation of being for responsible for a rider's death nearly every year. Nonetheless, the event has been run nearly continuously since its inaugural race in 19097.
While the Isle of Man TT may be an enjoyable event for motorsport fans, it hasn't been very fun for the residents of the island that have had to endure the annual disruption, tourist population, and road closures.
The leader of one of the island’s local authorities has suggested that the TT course could be re-routed to reduce the disruption to residents and businesses during the race period.
Andrew Jessopp, the chairman of Braddan Commissioners, told local publication, Isle of Man Today that he has begun discussions with the UK's Department of Infrastructure.
“Suggestions have been made to me that the route of the TT course should be changed,” he said.
“That would require a certain amount of infrastructure work as well. But then that would enable the main road to continue in use which means there would be access to Snugborough housing and Snugborough trading estate.”
This proposal stems from frustration over the current access road through Braddan when races are taking place. Residents are forced to take a road that runs from New Castletown Road near the Quarterbridge roundabout in Douglas to Braddan Road, near Braddan School. The road is only wide enough for one car and is open for traffic while the TT course is shut.
Because of the tight confines, traffic tends to build up, causing great inconvenience to locals, residents, and commuters.
“In the last couple of days I’ve had people say to me that they are going to be spending at least an hour stuck in traffic trying to get through the access road,” he said.
The UK's Department of Infrastructure is aware of the problem and has promised to replace the current route with a two-way carriageway by 2022.
However, locals don't seem keen on waiting that long. Braddan Commissioners have held talks with the department over the prospect of a new access road route and want a solution soon.
He added that new housing in the area was likely to place further stress on the route.
He would like to see a carriageway that could enable two vehicles - even lorries or buses - pass each other.
Could this mean a rerouting for the famous TT course?