The annual event of the Kells Road Race brings life to the village with all the hussle and bussle that goes into organising such a hugh event. As residents, we all know that this is a mammoth task for Lester, Aileen and their team to take on year after year and as residents, all we ask is that we can have access to and from our homes when needed. Today (Saturday the 18th, practice day) 4 residents where told to wait and were kept waiting until the races actually finished. One resident got to the junction at the end of the Crossakiel/Oldcastle road coming from Kells at 5.25pm and was kept waiting there until the races were over at 6.40pm! She was coming from work and had purchased ice creams for her familiy, so she was in a little bit of a hurry to get home.
We were informed by Lester that when an individual race is finished, the marshalls call the control room to inform them that a resident wants to get home and they open the road for this to happen. Unfortunately the marshall who was on the gate obviously did not get the memo and kept 4 residents waiting until the end of the entire race schedule. This is completely unacceptable. We understand that races might take longer than expected and we also understand that if there is an accident that we will have to wait, but to be told that you have to sit in your car until the race schedule is over is beyond a joke. One resident was told last year that she had to park her car at the junction and walk up to the village! seriously!
I contacted Aileen and Lester on behave of the residents and explained to them that this attitude from the marshalls stopping the residents from getting home was completely unacceptable and that all marshalls/security should be briefed before the race and told that if a Crossakiel resident needs to get home, they call the control room to let them know that a resident needs to drive on the circuit to get home. So when the individual race is finished, they open the gate to let the resident go.
While we are on the subject of access for residents, it also seems to be an issue with road race supporters chancing their arm and coming at all times of the night and morning parking on the Cairns estate. Now this has also been discussed with Aileen and it has been agreed that Marshalls and Kells Road Race club members can park their cars in the Cairns as long as they have signage in the car window stating who they are. Coming back home to find a spectator has parked their van/car in your parking space is fustrating.
So we hope Lester, Aileen and the rest of the team take these issues on board as some residents are not interested in motor racing and just want to get on and do their business without being delayed or held up by a marshall who has not been briefed about letting residents through.
Update: Sunday 19/06/2016
As expected, no marshall or secuirty person has been allocated to the Cairns to stop people from entering and parking their cars all over the estate. Although the barriers are up, there is gap for a car to drive through, no signage on the barrier saying "residents only" and no security person to man the gate.
It is beginning to appear that maybe the organisers are not as organised as we thought and obviously have not considered the impact and inconvenience of the road races on residents. Most years, a security person was allocated to the Cairns around 7/8am in the morning but this year, there is no one there allowing everyone and his wife to come in and park up (one of the resident even manned the gate for a two year period to stop people from coming in). Now if the residents of the Cairns and Crossakiel are happy with the way things are with people parking all over the village and in the Cairns, then fair enough, on the other hand, if this is fustrating to the residents, than it is up to us to speak to the organisers and request that something is sorted for next years race.