DUP MLA Maurice Bradley says he is hopeful that a review, agreed by the Minister for Infrastructure on Road Traffic Regulations will be favourable to local running clubs.
The legislation which was passed back in January 2017, means that any sporting club wishing to close a road for as short time to allow for a race to start or for athletes to pass, have to apply for a roads closure order, and employ a traffic management company, potentially costing several thousand pounds, to allow their event to take place.
Bradley has been contacted by several sporting clubs who have highlighted concerns about the legislation and the impact it is having on races.
Just last week, it was revealed that the iconic Kennedy Kane McArthur half marathon and five-mile race has been cancelled by Dervock Community Association.
“I had the opportunity to ask the Minister a question during Question time at Stormont on Monday and I am happy that she has recognised the impact that the legislation is having on sporting clubs.”
Bradley’s question asked the Minister for Infrastructure whether her Department will review Article 8A and Schedule 3A of the Road Traffic Regulations (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, giving particular consideration to sports clubs that have been impacted financially by this legislation.
In response, the Minister said:
“The legislation provides a legally defined basis for the purpose of holding special events on roads and puts in place a framework so that events can be held in a safe and controlled way. The special events provisions were commenced in September 2017.
“I recognise the strength of feeling among local sporting clubs and Athletics NI of the impact on the introduction of this legislation and I think it is important to review it to see how it is operating in practice.
“I am pleased to confirm that my Department is undertaking a review. I hope that anyone involved with holding an event will take the opportunity to contribute to the review.
“My aim would be to gather as much data as we can to gauge how the legislation is operating in practice.
“The review will start imminently and I would envisage that we should be reporting on findings some time during the summer months.”