The Mountain Road may have to close this August to allow for upgrading works that are required for TT 2022 to take place, and for what the DoI calls ‘essential maintenance to improve safety for road users’.
The proposed closure is to run for five weeks from August 16 to September 19. For the first two weeks, the section between Barrule Park in Ramsey and the Bungalow would close to allow for construction and maintenance works. The section between Bungalow and Douglas will remain open, allowing access from the northern villages and Ramsey via Tholt-y-Will.
The final three weeks will also see a daytime (9am – 4pm) road closure between Creg Ny Baa and Bungalow for maintenance work on weekdays. The road will be open on weekends. These timings will allow commuters to travel between the north and Douglas via Tholt-y-Will.
A statement said: ‘The works will include reconstruction of the road and pavements in the Stella Maris/Barrule Park area of Ramsey. Failing drainage systems have led to a significant rut in the road surface which has been identified by the TT organisers as an essential repair to be completed before racing can take place again. Important general maintenance will be undertaken at the same time on the Mountain Road, which will ensure that it is safe for public travel over the winter. Work will include the replacement of centre and edge lines, installation of replacement verge masters, improvements to drainage systems and installation of new tram signals.’
The gov says that the summer holidays will be the best time to do the work as delaying the works beyond September would almost certainly increase the duration of works due to bad weather.
Infrastructure Minister Tim Baker said: ‘We are currently consulting with a wide range of groups that will be affected, including local businesses and Ramsey Town Commissioners, and will then finalise our plans. We will take on board all of their comments and concerns, and will do all we can to mitigate the impact on the travelling public and the people of the north. The Department acknowledges that this will be an inconvenience for many people, but this work is necessary to allow next year’s TT to go ahead as well as for safe long-term use. Nobody likes a road closure but repairs have to be done and this is the least worst option. I am not prepared to jeopardise the return of the TT in 2022 by failing to undertake this work now’.