MEMBERS of the Department of Transport’s Road Safety Team will travel on Isle of Man Steam Packet Company sailings this week to target visiting bikers.
With 11,200 motorbikes booked to travel to the island for the TT, the largest number in 10 years other than for 2007’s centenary, on-board advisors will have a captive audience and will aim to speak to first-time visitors about the festival and the associated hazards they may face on the island’s roads.
From Monday (yesterday) to Wednesday this week, Road Safety Team members will be present on various sailings to and from the UK and Ireland.
Road safety manager Gordon Edwards said: ‘It is important for us to be able to target visitors before they arrive on the island, to make them aware of the dangers that can be present on our roads at this unique time of year. It is also a good opportunity for us to remind them of the one-way system on the Mountain Road, temporary speed limits and changes to the roads which they may not be aware of.
‘I would like to thank the Steam Packet Company for supporting us and being able to accommodate us on their sailings at this busy time of year.’
To accommodate the seasonal surge in passenger numbers the Steam Packet has chartered an additional freight vessel to supplement its fleet during TT fortnight.
The 1,000 metre capacity freighter MV Arrow, chartered from Seatruck Ferries, will assist with peak inbound and outbound periods.
She is the sister ship of the freighter MV Helliar, which covered during the Ben-my-Chree’s scheduled dry dock last month.
The freighter, along with the Steam Packet’s own Ben-my-Chree and Manannan, will serve alongside a second chartered vessel – P&O Express – which will operate sailings to and from Larne, Northern Ireland.
Steam Packet Company chief executive Mark Woodward said: ‘While MV Arrow doesn’t bring any additional passenger space, we have already made provision for 43,000 extra seats scheduled over the TT period.
‘It will provide additional freight capacity during the peak inbound traffic flow from Tuesday, May 28, until Monday, June 4. She will assist again during the peak outbound period between Saturday, June 9, and Tuesday, June 12, providing additional operational resilience during the busiest time of the year and maintains excess freight capacity for the island’s businesses and services.’