PROPOSED RACING CIRCUIT

77

Dear Sir,

Since last year I have heard about the Government’s plan for a racing circuit. The impression I am getting is that this circuit would be an unregulated circuit which is just as dangerous as the illegal racing that was taking place at Long Point. A proposal of this sort would affect the public, and a meeting should be held to gauge public opinion, especially the opinions of the residents living near the proposed site.

I am against the establishment of a racing circuit for financial, health and safety grounds. Nevis is not in a position to support such an extramural activity. I believe that the money would be better spent in providing extra resources for the Alexandra Hospital, for example. Nevis is a small island and this racing circuit would never be far from residential areas.

As a result, dust (which would affect people with allergies such as asthma), smell of fuel and the noise from the circuit would permeate into residential areas. When I lived abroad, a drag racing circuit was situated a few miles from where I resided and most Saturday evenings I was bombarded by the noise of the revving engines and the sound of the cars driving around the circuit.

The circuit would have to be managed and continuous maintenance along with proper safeguards would have to be in place. For instance, the traction on the track would need careful maintenance in order to avoid as much skidding as possible on the track surface. Because vehicles with combustible fuel are involved in racing, a fire engine and ambulance would have to be in attendance at the circuit when it is in operation. Nevis cannot afford this burden on the fire and ambulance services!

There are traffic concerns: adequate parking space would have to be provided in order to avoid hazards on the public road and this would have to be supervised (possibly by security guards or the police?).

As this is a dangerous activity, which requires great competence, inexperienced drivers should not be allowed to compete, as this sport requires particular driving and tactical skills and these skills come with experience.

As with any motor sport there is a risk of someone becoming injured or even killed. After the investigation of an accident, if it was judged that the track was to blame, family members could sue the track owners for compensation. This could put a strain on the public coffers. If it turns out the drivers are at fault, those drivers could face legal action. One has to be aware of all eventualities in a particular situation. Motor sport is an expensive business, and I am sure there are people who cannot afford to be continually repairing cars or customizing these for races.

People should be encouraged to partake in activities which would enhance themselves and benefit society. My article gives the impression that I do not like motor sports, to the contrary I enjoy reading about and watching Grand Prix racing, but for Nevis this drag racing would place a burden on Nevis’s public services and the financial costs would always be unceasing. When it comes to public safety one cannot skimp on financial provisions for the maintenance and supervision of the racing track.

Dianne Collins

Nevis