By Patricia Devlin
ORGANISERS of the Cookstown 100 said they are relieved that resurfacing work to fix up areas of the circuit before this year’s race is set to commence.
There had been concerns that work on the Orritor motor cycle circuit, which takes in the Orritor Road and Gortnagross junction, would not take place in time for this season.
Patches of the road had been left uneven after recent road work, leading to fears over the popular event’s future.
But this week the Minister for Regional Development Danny Kennedy gave the green light for the vital resurfacing work to go ahead after personally visiting the circuit.
PRO for Cookstown Motor Cycle Club Kenny Loughrin said the news secured the future of the Cookstown 100.
“Thanks must go to the DRD Minister Danny Kennedy for his personal involvement in to secure the future of the race which now attracts thousands of spectators every year and ultimately boost the local economy.”
Cookstown councillor Trevor Wilson, who lobbied for the work to the Minister, also welcomed the news.
“I would like to thank the Minister for taking the time to come out to Cookstown and to visit the circuit and I am delighted that the Minister has found the money to improve the road surface which will enable the race to take place this year,” he said.
“The Cookstown 100 attracts thousands of visitors and it’s future is paramount to the tourism within the area.”
The motor sport event, which attracts spectators from across the province and beyond, is set to take place on Saturday 27th April 2013.
Councillor Wilson also welcomed the Minister’s commitment to improving visibility at the Sandholes Road junction after recent work surrounding a bridge widening project took place.
Road users raised concerns about the adequacy of visibility when exiting the Sandholes Road junction onto the A505 Drum Road close to Derryloran Bridge.
Road Service said that due to issues associated with the location of the adjacent graveyard, contractors were unable to move the wall further back to increase visibility at the junction.
Minister Kennedy said that work on altering road markings across the junction would commence in the next two to three weeks, weather permitting, which he says will improve visibility.