Numbers down for this year’s Isle of Man TT Races

DAVE KNEEN/PACEMAKER PRESS, BELFAST: 02/06/2016: Isle of Man TT fans arriving at Douglas after their journey from Heysham on the Seacat

DAVE KNEEN/PACEMAKER PRESS, BELFAST: 02/06/2016: Isle of Man TT fans arriving at Douglas after their journey from Heysham on the Seacat

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The Steam Packet Company carried 13,228 motorcycles and 35,500 passengers to the Isle of Man during the 2016 TT.

Ben-my-Chree and fast craft Manannan worked around the clock during the fortnight-long motorcycle racing festival to carry fans to the Isle of Man from Heysham, Liverpool, Belfast and Dublin, with MV Arrow providing extra freight capacity to free-up Ben-my-Chree vehicle deck space.

Final figures were down on the 2015 TT as P&O no longer has fast craft Express available for charter. Motorcycle numbers were down by six per cent, although remained ahead of 2014 figures.

Steam Packet Company chief executive Mark Woodward said: “We had previously advised that figures would be down for 2016 as P&O Express is no longer available to charter from Northern Ireland, and Manannan and the Ben-my-Chree had to operate Belfast services this year.

“Suitable vessels for the ports we serve are simply not available for short-term charter, so we had anticipated this situation and taken steps to mitigate the impact.”

He added: “Looking to the future there is strong interest in attending the TT; in the first 10 hours of reservations opening for next year’s event we had completed more than 3,500 bookings.”