Isle of Wight Road Races postponed to 2023; ACU, IoW council blame one another

The troubled Isle of Wight Road Races is dealt another blow after a disagreement over permit paperwork forces organises to postpone event to 2023

Isle of Wight Diamond Races

The inaugural Isle of Wight Road Races have been postponed to 2023 after a disagreement between the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU) and the Isle of Wight Council over paperwork required to permit road closures.

The much-anticipated first running of the event was pencilled in for April 2022 but issues applying for the mandatory Motor Race Order - needed to ensure road closures around the island - has left organisers with too little time to both resolve the matter and begin preparations.

With no other date available in 2022, it says it has no choice but to push the road racing festival back to 2023.

Though the event has faced some stiff opposition getting off the ground over concerns about the impact the races would have among residents and has even been scrapped altogether before being resurrected again.

However, support has gathered under the promise of it bringing a predicted £30m income to the island as a welcome boost in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic-triggered downturn in tourist numbers.

What is stopping the Isle of Wight Road Races from happening?

Bizarrely, both parties have blamed one another for the cancellation with the ACU insisting it submitted all relevant documentation before the October 2021 deadline. 

However, the council contradicts this by saying ‘it is not yet satisfied that the application has been duly made in accordance with the relevant legislation’

“We have reluctantly accepted that the Isle of Wight Road Races now can’t go ahead on our planned dates this year,” event promoter James Kaye said.

“Our Motor Race Order application was submitted on time to the Isle of Wight Council on 19th October 2021, but has not yet been determined. We understand that there are some technical concerns, but this is out of our control and the clock has run down.”

“We would like to thank all the Isle of Wight Road Races fans and in particular the Island-based motorcycle clubs and the Facebook supporters group for their continued enthusiasm and encouragement. Especially those who had already looked to book travel and accommodation for April

“We have received an enormous amount of positivity from across the whole Island, including many residents, land owners and businesses based in and around the circuit in Brighstone, Chale and Shorwell. We look forward to securing new dates for the Isle of Wight Road Races as soon as possible.”

Despite this, the city council maintains its position that it couldn’t provide a permit without the relevant documentation.

“The council had been awaiting further information from the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU) — the governing body for motorbike races — in order to progress the application but this was not received

“This has meant that, as per the relevant legislation, the motor race application was not considered to be duly made and could not be considered by the council.

“Further, it is unfortunate that the application was submitted on, or near, the latest possible date to meet statutory requirements which left no allowance for changes to the application documentation.”

Billed as the ‘southern Isle of Man TT’, the Isle of Wight Road Races (formerly known as the Diamond Races) has endured a frustrating time getting off the ground since it was first announced in July 2020 with a view to taking place in October 2021.

However, after it was confirmed in February 2021 that it would instead take place in 2022, the Diamond Races was then cancelled altogether before being resurrected as the Isle of Wight Road Races soon afterwards.