Green Light for TT 2002

TT 2002 will go-ahead, after a decision was made last week.
The Government has refused to confirm that racing will be on, but understands a decision was taken by the Council of Ministers on Thursday to ensure the event takes place. In April the devastating decision to cancel racing for the two-week festival was made because of fears foot-and-mouth disease may be spread to the Island by a massive influx of visitors.

There had been speculation over the future of next year's event, but government has decided that there is enough time between now and the festival, which will start on the traditional last week in May, to ensure all necessary precautions are taken to prevent the disease spreading to the Island should the UK still be suffering outbreaks. The cancellation of this year's event, along with many other events, devastated the tourism industry and led to Tynwald establishing schemes to help struggling businesses. Another cancellation would, arguably, spell the death knell for the TT. Chief Minister Donald Gelling will make an announcement to Tynwald next week confirming racing will go ahead.

However, he refused to confirm what decision the Council of Ministers had made. 'My only comment is that there will be a statement in Tynwald in respect of next year's TT,' he said. 'That statement will be made and all will be disclosed and people will know where they are. We have time to consider the position this year. Last year it was dumped on us very suddenly.

' No other member of the council would comment on what decision had been reach. Tourism and Leisure Minister David Cretney, who it is believed has been pushing for an early decision, refused to talk about the impending statement to Tynwald. However, give a strong indication of what the announcement will be, Mr Cretney confirmed his department would be pressing on with plans to begin marketing the 2002 TT at a motorbike show in Birmingham next month.

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