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TT official looking for practice session compromise

TT organisers have been meeting to decide whether to go ahead with extra road closures during practice week, in the face of huge opposition from residents, marshals and medics.

Four extra hours of practice, which would mean the mountain road closing from 4pm, have been scheduled, to accomodate electric bikes taking part in the first 'green emissions' race, the TT XGP.

The event's Coordinating Committee is chaired by Tourism Minister Martyn Quayle, who has yet to respond to the wave of negative comment about earlier road closures.

On his way into the meeting, deputy clerk of the course Phil Taubman said the committee would be looking for a compromise (play attached audio file):

"We have to do something to try and fit the bikes in, but I don't think this is possibly the best solution.

"We are going to have to go in there this morning and try and sort something out.

"A lot of people are against it and I can understand why, so we are going to have to do whatever we can to make it happen."

Critics say the earlier closures will create havoc on the roads, as workers race to get home.

Director of highways Bruce Hannay says while there is a political will to stage the race, he will do all he can to ensure competitors get the practice they require.

Earlier today he said:

"My department is there to facilitate the government's initiatives and the TT is a major government initiative for the Island.

"We will do all we can to support the TT."

There is no word yet on the outcome of the meeting.

(Audio recordings courtesy of the BBC).

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