The North West 200, along with Northern Irish road racing in general, has been given a huge boost following news that the Government is set change the law surrounding road closures.
After this year’s North West 200 was cancelled due to torrential rain, Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy initiated a three month public consultation to change the law surrounding road closures and allowing greater flexibility in the event of bad weather.
“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.”
The Minister’s consultation received overwhelming support and he will now attempt to see the Bill fast tracked through the Assembly in order for the changes to take effect 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.” added North West 200 Event Director Mervyn Whyte, MBE. “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.”