Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Road race 'inaccuracies' need to be clarified

The correspondence from Dr John Glenn (WriteBack, February 10) contained a number of factual errors which cannot be allowed to go unchallenged.

He claims that the existing law does not permit road racing on a Sunday. This is inaccurate. There is nothing in the law to prevent racing on a Sunday.

Secondly, when this issue came up, it did not, as Dr Glenn suggests, receive universal support.

Jim Allister contacted churches along the route of the North West 200 to tell them that the changes to the legislation opened up the possibility of the Saturday race being moved to a Sunday.

He also arranged a meeting between the Minister for Regional Development, Danny Kennedy, and churches along the route of the NW200, which allowed them to put their concerns to the minister in person.

Additionally, when the issue came before the Assembly, Jim Allister proposed an amendment which would have limited racing on a Sunday as a contingency day to between 1.30pm and 6pm, to protect the rights of church-goers. This was a proposal based on the situation on the Isle of Man. Unfortunately, this proposal was voted down by 77 votes to three.

Having failed to introduce blanket protection for church-goers across Northern Ireland, Mr Allister proposed a second amendment, which gave protection to churches along the route of the NW200. This was accepted by the Assembly.

Samuel Morrison

TUV press officer

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