Motorbike warning for drivers ahead of Isle of Man TT races

Honda Racing rider John McGuinness leads Bruce Anstey at Ballacraine during opening qualifying at the 2014 Isle of Man TT. Picture:  Pacemaker Press International

Honda Racing rider John McGuinness leads Bruce Anstey at Ballacraine during opening qualifying at the 2014 Isle of Man TT. Picture: Pacemaker Press International

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DRIVERS across Lancashire are being reminded to “Look out for Bikes” over the next few weeks as thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts pass through the North West on their way to Isle of Man TT races.

Highways England will be using its network of electronic variable message signs up and down the region’s motorway network to urge drivers to be extra vigilant over the next few weeks.

It wants to help cut accidents and injuries involving bikers travelling to and back home from the races – most of them getting ferries to the Isle of Man from Heysham and Liverpool.

This year’s festival of events will be taking place between Monday and Friday, June 12, with race week itself starting on Saturday, June 6.

Some 14,000 bikers are already booked on ferry crossings from the North West to the Isle of Man.

With potentially tens of thousands of riders and passengers travelling through the region over the next few weeks the “Look out for Bikes” signs are being displayed on VMSs along key routes to Heysham and Liverpool including the M6, M62 and M61.

Stuart Lovatt, Highways England’s head of road safety, said: “A significant number of TT enthusiasts will be travelling through the area as motorcycle riders and pillion passengers.

“Many will not know our roads and our message to drivers is please consider how vulnerable people are on motorcycles and take a moment to look twice at every turn, every lane change and every junction.

“We would ask motorcycle riders to be considerate in return, plan your route and blend with the local traffic to keep everyone moving safely.”

In Lancashire this year, there have been 33 collisions involving motorcycles, 11 resulting in serious injury and two fatalities.

Motorcyclists account for a quarter of casualties killed or seriously injured in the county.