The DoI said it is aware of, and is investigating, a video in which the Director of Transport makes unfounded remarks about the island to railway enthusiasts.
Ian Longworth was speaking on ‘Trolleyology’, a Youtube series hosted by the
Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, which is based in Washington, Pennsylvania, USA.
During his talk, where Mr Longworth spoke in great depth about the island’s railways, the challenges of running a heritage system and modern advances used to assist in this, he also made a factually inaccurate statement regarding the TT and commented on the island’s financial services industry.
Mr Longworth has been in post since 2020, having previously also served in the role since 2009. In the interim, he acted as Lead for Transport Projects.
In the video, posted on January 13 2022, Mr Longworth was introducing the island when he said: ‘We’re the home of the TT races, which we’re famous for and they’re over 100 years old. Five to eight people kill themselves and about 43,000 come to watch each year with on street motorbike racing.’
Throughout the history of the TT, MPG and Clubman TT race series, there have been 260 deaths on the course between 1907 and 2019.
A Good Source Money
Speaking of the island’s finance industry, Mr Longworth said: ‘The place is known really for being a good source of money. However, balanced against that, it’s no longer trendy to hide your money somewhere here. The effect of that, so it’s a very right wing society in that sense, but in other senses the government owns all the basic infrastructure down to the local flour mill, creamery and all the transport that is required on the island.’
The Isle of Man Creamery is a cooperative of local farmers.
In response to these comments, a DoI spokesman said: ‘The Department of Infrastructure is aware of the video in question. The matter is being investigated and, if required, will be dealt with as an internal staffing matter.’
As the video, which you can see below, continues, Mr Longworth goes on to explain the island’s heritage rail network and his role within the Manx gov.