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 15,000 Still on the Way for TT

Up to 15,000 passengers could still come to the Island during the TT festival fortnight, according to Steam Packet figures. While customers continue to contact the firm, preliminary statistics show that between 12,000-15,000 passengers, 4,000 motorbikes and 2,500 vehicles could still make the trip despite the races being off.

However, the company has confirmed that the Lady of Mann will not be sailing during the fortnight. The Steam Packet would normally expect to carry 35,000 passengers, 15,000 bikes and 3,500 vehicles for the event, but the reduced numbers of travellers means everyone can be accommodated by the scheduled sailings of the Ben-My-Chree and the SeaCat fastcraft.

A series of special excursions from Fleetwood, Llandudno, Whitehaven and Troon on the Lady of Mann prior to TT fortnight have also been cancelled. Steam Packet managing director Hamish Ross, said: 'It has been a difficult decision to withdraw Lady of Mann from its scheduled services for the TT period.

'The shortfall in the normally exceptional traffic generated by the TT races has driven us to make the only decision available to us. 'We will still schedule in excess of 200 sailings by our other vessels. This will provide spare capacity for the many travellers who will visit the Island for an exciting TT festival planned by the Island's tourist industry in place of the cancelled races.

'The Island remains open for business. We remain upbeat for our season and committed to serving the Island and its needs.' The criticism of the decision to go ahead with the festival without the races is continuing.

Motor Cycle News columnist Kevin Ash said in this week's edition: 'This is fingers crossed politics, and if it wasn't for the misery, pain and suffering this disease causes you'd have to hope foot-and-mouth got to the Isle of Man anyway.'

Some top competitors are also believed to be angry about the situation and it is claimed some have not received letters from the Steam Packet about the options open to them following the cancellation of the races.

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