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

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.”