North West 200 chief Whyte backs moves on flexible road closures

TWO AND FOUR. Roads Minister Danny Kennedy, pictured with Mervyn White and Alan Drysdale.CR29-444SC
TWO AND FOUR. Roads Minister Danny Kennedy, pictured with Mervyn White and Alan Drysdale.CR29-444SC

The Event Director of the Vauxhall North West 200, Mervyn Whyte MBE issued a personal statement in response to the proposed moves for road closures.

It follows the recent announcement that the Government will be launching a public consultation on the possibility of creating more flexible road closing orders for motor sport events in Northern Ireland.

“We have had constructive discussions with Coleraine Borough Council and Roads Minister Danny Kennedy and Mr Kennedy’s Department has now launched a public consultation on proposals that would allow the greater flexibility on road closing orders that the North West 200 and other road races would like to have available to us in the future. We are very hopeful that this will provide a fruitful way forward,” said Whyte.

He continued; “As Event Director I believe that this more pragmatic approach offers the way forward for the North West 200 in a new era of road racing when safety considerations for both riders and spectators must be paramount.

“The Coleraine and District Motor Club are working to find a more flexible structure for our race programme that will better enable us to cope with the problems that poor weather creates and prevent a repeat of 2013’s cancellation.

“Representation has been made to both local and central government, requesting consideration be given to measures that would provide us with much needed extra funding and allow the organisers to react to changing forecasts and reschedule racing as necessary.

“We have been encouraged by the positive response of everyone, from residents and race fans to the First Minister Peter Robinson, who has indicated that he supports our call for this extra support.”