Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Festival of Motorcycling: Cyclists banned from Mountain Road

TT circuit courtesy Amadeus Photography Image copyright Amadeus Photography
Image caption The ban will be imposed along on the Mountain Road for the duration of the festival

Cyclists have been banned from using a key Isle of Man road during the Festival of Motorcycling, police have announced.

They will be forced to avoid the A18 Mountain Road under new legislation used for the first time.

Insp Gavin Callow said it was "purely a safety measure" during the busy two weeks, which will see fast moving traffic along the road.

The ban will be imposed from 18 August until 4 September.

Police said anyone found cycling in either direction between the Ramsey Hairpin and Creg Ny Baa will be dealt with "robustly."

Image copyright Steve Babb
Image caption Multiple TT winner Michael Dunlop will be competing at the event

One cyclist had to be rescued during last year's TT after getting into difficulty on the road on Mad Sunday during a charity lap of the course.

A spokesman for the Manx Viking Wheelers, a local cycling club, said "it seems like an overreaction to one reported case".

"The Isle of Man government and magistrates really need to clamp down on reckless road users with tougher penalties rather than penalising other road users," he added.

"Visitors come to ride the course like their heroes. To all road users it's a dangerous time, and especially for more vulnerable road users."

However, Insp Callow said the police were "not anti-cyclists".

Image copyright Amadeus Photography.com
Image caption The festival will run over a two-week period

He added: "I'm a cyclist myself but I wouldn't go up on the Mountain Road during TT or Manx Grand Prix."

The opening practice session for the 2017 Festival of Motorcycling, which includes the Manx Grand Prix and Classic TT, will be held on Saturday.

It will see some of the biggest names in road racing compete as well as many riders gaining their first experience of the TT course.

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