Police in Galloway in southwestern Scotland are warning bikers and drivers to be extra careful on the roads this week as about 3,500 bikes are expected to pass through the area to take part in the North West 200 motorcycle road race, which begins on 17 May.
The event will take place in Coleraine, Northern Ireland and bikers are expected to use the A75 and A77 trunk roads as they travel to the ferry port at Cairnryan.
The roads will see thousands of motorcycles this week, but as the bikers tend to travel in groups they won’t be hard to spot. Yet police warned that single bikes will also be more prevalent and can appear suddenly, so it’s essential for motorists to take extra care.
Over the years, local police have created a plan to help bikers travel through the region safely and it has been a success, commented Sergeant Billy McEwan from the road policing unit. The police force will stick to this plan again, meaning there will be more patrols along the A75 and A77, he said.
One challenge the police will face this year is the closure of the A75 route east of Annan between 17 and 18 May due to re-surfacing work. The traffic will be redirected through Rigg, Eastriggs and Dornock and extra patrols will be deployed in the area to help deal with traffic issues that may arise during the weekend.
T-boning at junctions is a common cause of motorcycle crashes, but these accidents can be avoided if drivers are more careful, Sergeant McEwan said.