Michael Josem on Marine Drive
Michael Josem stopping during a sunny cycle on Marine Drive Credit: Michael Josem Credit: Michael Josem

The Isle of Man Government is currently running a consultation on the idea of fully closing Marine Drive to motor vehicles.

As a local cyclist and resident, I made a submission to the consultation.

I oppose the Government’s proposal to close Marine Drive to motor vehicles, for the following reasons:

  • As a cyclist, I have never had the least concern about sharing that portion of the road with motor vehicles. This is because the road is already not passable due to existing barriers, and the drivers who do use it are rare and considerate of other users. Because motor vehicles are already prevented from driving through Marine Drive, the low number of drivers are almost universally travelling at slow speeds anyway.
  • On my cycle journeys along Marine Drive, I have seen the pleasure that the sea views have given less able-bodied members of our community. I have seen elderly people of Mann[1] drive along the road, get out of their cars, and enjoy the views towards the other islands of our archipelago. I have seen our neighbours enjoy the fresh air and views towards England. Prohibiting such use would impose a real cost on such people. They are doing no harm, and are enjoying our island. This should be encouraged, not prohibited!
  • The Government’s proposal will eliminate motor vehicle access to Port Soderick Brooghs, Little Ness car park – an internationally recognised “Dark Skies Discovery Site”. This site, and the 25 others on the Isle of Man, was celebrated by the Isle of Man in the hope that it “inspires people to visit us and experience our incredible surroundings.” As you would appreciate, enjoying a dark sky discovery site can sometimes require heavy equipment such as telescopes – equipment which is often best transported by motor vehicle.
  • If the Isle of Man Government was seriously concerned about improving the cycling experience along Marine Drive, it would fix the degrading road surface. Currently, it seems that the road (including the part that is currently inaccessible to motor vehicles as it is) is partially unsealed and in a generally unsafe condition for cyclists. Degrading the entire Marine Drive to that standard would likely be harmful to local cyclists such as myself.

[1] and, in pre-Corona Times, possibly tourists!

Michael Josem is a long-term consumer advocate, most prominently as a global leader in combating fraud in the online gambling industry. He was in part the inspiration for the 20th Century Fox Movie, Runner Runner, starring Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake.

Josem has over a decade of experience as a senior business leader working across various high-tech and online industries, and takes action to build a better community. His primary volunteer roles include service for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and Graih, the homelessness charity.