‘We’ve no intention of bringing in all-island limit’

Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK

Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK

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Chief Minister Allan Bell insists there is no intention to bring in a maximum speed limit across all Manx roads.

There has been a number of fatal and serious road collisions and multiple Mountain Road closures during TT.

Frank Robinson

Frank Robinson

There have been three fatal accidents on the open roads since the start of TT. On one day last week, the Mountain Road was closed no fewer than eight times following collisions.

Mr Bell said the issue of an all-island limit is raised every few years. He said: ‘There are as many vociferously against as there are in favour. The government at the moment has no intention to introduce an all-island speed limit.’

Mr Bell said: ‘The beautiful weather we’ve had has helped to pump up the adrenaline in some individuals. It may in part have been a contributing factor to the exuberance. There’s a lot of people enjoying themselves. Unfortunately there has been a been a number of accidents.

‘We need to keep it in context. Government has an absolute responsibility to raise awareness of respect for the roads. We have to recognise the increased number of injuries are putting extra pressure on our health services at a time when they are fully stretched. But this should not be taken as a pretext to bring in any more draconian controls. We need to have a measured approach.’

Mr Bell said he has heard crticism from a number of people affected by the regularity of Mountain Road closures.

He said: ‘They were under the mistaken belief that police are using minor accidents as a pretext to close the road to traffic. I’ve had an absolute assurance from the Chief Constable that isn’t the case. I can well see why police are doing it. The Chief Constable has absolute responsibility to look after the welfare of his officers. With certainly some bikers travelling at excessive speed it could put officers’ safety at risk.

‘But clearly keeping the Mountain Road open is one of he attractions for our visitors. The debate I’m sure will continue after TT. The vast majority of our visitors drive safely and within the limits.’

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