Extra safety barriers could be in place at the bottom of Bray Hill in time for the Manx Grand Prix and Classic TT races later this month.
A review of safety in the area was carried out after and accident during this year’s Senior TT which saw 10 spectators injured, some seriously.
Speaking after the incident, course clerk Gary Thompson said safety would be reviewed in the area so that any recommendations could be implemented ready for the Manx.
Shaun Counsell who oversees course preparation for both the Manx and the TT said the issue was still being considered.
‘At the moment we are still looking at it and some work is being done,’ he said.
He added any work required by the event insurers would be completed by August 15 which is the day when final inspections take place for course safety.
As part of continuing improvements to course safety Mr Counsell said extra Recticell barriers were being installed at various different points around the course. This is part of a rolling safety programme to replace straw bales, with Recticell barriers which offer superior protection.
In addition, some sections of barrier are bespoke - specially made to fit a particular bend, entrance or obstacle - something which is not possible using straw bales. Large sections of the course have also been treated with chippings in readiness for the racing, which starts with practices and newcomers’ sighting laps on August 17.
Stretches of the course from Union Mills to Glen Vine and north of Ballaugh have had work completed and resurfacing work has also been carried out at Bedstead corner where the surface had become worn and polished.
Major work on the famous Creg-ny-Baa corner will start in the autumn once the Manx has finished. This will involve a complete reprofiling of the corner to make the camber more favourable, eliminating the need for a shell grip surface of the type currently on the corner but which is prone to wearing out.
Safety concerns were expressed after Jonathan Howarth a competitor from Barnsley in South Yorkshire came off his bike on the way down Bray hill on the opening lap of the Senior race. Though Mr Howarth escaped with relatively minor injuries, 10 people spectating by the former shop near the traffic lights at the bottom of the hill suffered leg and lower body injuries, some serious, requiring hospital treatment. Many of the spectators were next to a makeshift grandstand on private land but the area had no viewing restrictions on it. Debris from the bike also cleared a garden wall and hit the window of a nearby house as the occupants watched from an upstairs window.
Emergency services and volunteers with St John Ambulance, Hogg Rescue and the marshals were praised for their prompt and efficient action dealing with the accident.
The race had to be stopped so casualties could be dealt with, and was later restarted.
The eventual winner was Morcambe’s John McGuinness who claimed his 20th TT victory, setting a new race record in the process. The 90th anniversary Manx Grand Prix races take place on Wednesday 28 and Friday 30 August. The inaugural Classic TT, formerly the Manx Grand Prix classic races are on Saturday 24 and Monday 26 August. Practising for both events is during the preceding week starting on Saturday August 17. The Marshals’ Association has called for marshals.