Figures released by the Steam Packet this morning indicate the number of motorcyclists booked to visit TT 2014 is 6 per cent up compared with this time last year.
The firm says this is due to the long-term charter of the freighter MV Arrow, which allowed early allocation of extra capacity for vehicles during the festival.
Latest bookings show 11,719 motorcycles will be visiting the Isle of Man during the fortnight, while the number of cars, vans and trailers is also up 5 per cent (to 3,953) for the same period, and the number of passengers is up 4 per cent (to 29,519).
Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘We’re pleased with the TT 2014 figures at this stage, and it shows just one of the advantages of our investment in the charter of MV Arrow. She allows us to supplement Ben-my-Chree and Manannan during the TT period, and of course provides cover for scheduled overhaul periods.’
As previously reported on iomtoday, starting on Monday, April 28, MV Arrow will cover freight services during Ben-my-Chree’s biennial overhaul, with Manannan covering passenger services during the three weeks that the Ben is in dry dock.
MV Arrow will also cover freight services when the Ben has three days out of service from June 19 to 21 to allow a stabilising fin, damaged during heavy weather at the start of the year, to be refitted.
‘Our freight services provide the economic lifeline for the Isle of Man and we take this responsibility very seriously,’ Mr Woodward said. ‘Securing MV Arrow on a long-term charter, which represents a multi-million pound investment provides additional flexibility to plan for scheduled maintenance periods, but also further expands our capacity for the peak TT period.’