Only 37 people or groups responded to the government’s June 2021 consultation relating to proposed changes to the TT for 2023 with only five supporting the changes.

The results of the survey have finally been published following a freedom of information request by Gef the Mongoose and the Manx Independent.

Of the 37 responses, 19 came from on-island, 18 from off-island, with 36 of them being made by individuals and one by a business.

As well as moving Senior Race Day to Saturday, the proposals include racing on Mad Sunday and fewer rests for competitors.

When it launched the consultation, the Department for Enterprise said: ‘The DfE recognise that road closures for racing may impact on the day to day activities of island residents. Feedback to this consultation will allow us to consider those impacts alongside the proposed schedule.

‘Following this consultation exercise, the comments, views or ideas provided will be considered by the department for Enterprise in conjunction with the Department of Infrastructure, along with other relevant departments, and will be used to direct the actual closure times contained within any racing authorisation issued.’

The first three respondents, all marshals from the UK, highlighted the issue that an increased race schedule could lead to difficulties in securing enough marshals willing to cover every race.

One respondent said that he and his wife, who are both retired, travel to the island for about three weeks around TT and the MGP most years and marshal during every session, but that they also enjoy events such as Peel Day and Ramsey Sprint.

He said: ‘If the weather/incidents conspired and the day really was a 9am to 9.30pm... followed by another similar day? 2 x12 plus hours at post.... as a volunteer. We would have to be incredibly well organised to ensure we had sufficient food and drink in advance of both shifts and would have little time to rest between the days.

‘The whole change feels to be a big push toward a TV audience. You may well regret that if the event cannot even start due to a lack of marshals on the ground.’

The second marshal said that the increased schedule could negatively affect businesses ‘like TT Teas at Bride or the businesses in Castletown/Peel/Port Erin’; he also raised his concern that there wouldn’t be enough marshals for each race.

He added: ‘Closing the circuit every day will be more of a burden on locals going about their business and may undermine goodwill towards the event from those who are no longer able to benefit from the economic benefits of the TT.’

The third marshal said she had concerns over the weather on Senior Race Day as if it rained on the Saturday then this could mean the big race simply wouldn’t be held. She also said she ‘would not be prepared to marshal the extra days’.

A Ramsey contributor went even further than wanting to prevent an increase in racing, they actually wanted to see it cut and think that ‘the TT has to end eventually’.

They added: ‘TT should actually be reduced not more! Please reconsider these plans. I still enjoy TT as many do but in reduced form as it slowly dies a natural death.’

One Douglas resident said the new schedule risked ‘three days where there might not be a break in the torrent of anachronistic pointlessness’.

They added that ‘three contingency days in 14 is foolish’, that the island doesn’t have the infrastructure to support the expanded event, particularly due to the state of the TT access road and also repeated earlier concerns about marshals.

A Lonan resident also said: ‘Overall I feel that the proposed changes are driven by greed and ignore practicalities.’

Other worries include a lack of rest time for riders (it was noted during this year’s races that the riders’ physio team said they were busier than ever) the environmental impact of additional races and the lack of a TT Zero race, as well as a lack of faith in the Manx weather.

There are some people who responded to the consultation that support the proposed schedule.

One man, who identified himself as a former rider, said that he thinks the proposals are ‘very well thought through’.

He added: ‘It is important that the local people are considered at length in relation to the necessary disruption to their everyday lives during practice and race days. This seems to have been achieved with the new timetable, and should help retain their enthusiasm for the event.

‘From a rider’s point of view, the extra two races is brilliant. When short circuit racing, I would enter as many races as I was eligible to. So the opportunity to compete in two, or even three races with just one bike, would be perfect. And would save money in terms of being able to have two races without having to have two or more bikes.’

A resident of the island said that ‘stretching the event to a second weekend makes perfect sense’ but that support needed to be given to the post-TT races at Billown to ‘give something to see for those who do not have a ferry until early in the week’.