The bikes are back!
Teams and international media are arriving and the big show is about to kick off.
The strong early interest in the 2016 Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix has continued and all is in place for 100,000-plus event goers to make their way to Phillip Island for the 21 to 23 October blockbuster. Even with the recent wet weather, the circuit is looking fantastic and all is in place for another great event.
To cope with high numbers of visitors across the weekend, Bass Coast Shire Council, Victoria Police and VicRoads have developed a significant traffic management plan to minimise disruption to the community.
Changes to normal traffic operations will be kept to a minimum, but residents are advised that traffic is expected to peak on Saturday and Sunday afternoon on Phillip Island Road and Back Beach Road between 4.00pm and 7.00pm, and on Sunday morning between 9.00am and midday.
Traffic on Phillip Island Road is also usually very slow on Monday after the event until around 1.00pm. Road users are advised to avoid these locations during these times. As usual, traffic conditions will be monitored and controls implemented if required.
The event relies heavily on parking in paddocks and unconstructed car parks. Should sections of the dedicated parking areas on circuit and on adjoining farmland be unusable, a contingency parking plan has been developed.
This plan essentially involves event patrons parking in Cowes and using an enhanced shuttle bus service to transport people to and from the circuit.
The Barry Sheene Tribute Ride
Interest in the Barry Sheene Tribute Ride has also been strong and around 500 riders expected to participate. The community and supporters of the ride are again reminded that it will arrive in Bass Coast earlier than in previous years.
The Ride will leave Bairnsdale at 8.30am on Thursday, 20 October and after a pit stop in Morwell, it will depart at 10.30am and travel to San Remo via Inverloch and Wonthaggi. Riders are expected to arrive at San Remo from around 1.30pm onwards and depart at 2.00pm before arriving at the Circuit at 2.20pm.
It is always a great spectacle watching the riders travel through the Shire, so people are encouraged to get out and have a look.
The City of Casey Cranbourne GP Run
Upwards of 5,000 motorcycles are expected to assemble at Cranbourne for the annual Cranbourne GP Run on Saturday, 22 October.
Riders will leave at 10.00am and are expected to arrive at the G.P. Circuit and Cowes from around 11.15am.
Many of the riders peel off along the route and the trail of motorcycles can be several kilometres long.
Other road users of the South Gippsland Highway, Bass Highway and Phillip Island Road are advised to exercise caution between these times.
Entertainment and other activities will greet the riders in Cowes.
Shuttle buses will operate between the Circuit and various stops around San Remo and Phillip Island on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at approximately 15 minute intervals from 7.30am until 12.30pm. From 12.30pm until 7.00pm they will continue at 30 minute intervals.
A late night service will operate from 7.00pm, with the final buses departing Cowes and San Remo at 2.00am.
For further information about bus tickets, contact Phillip Island Bus on (03) 5952 2500.
A direct shuttle service also operates from accommodation venues in Cowes and from the corner of Bass Avenue and The Esplanade and the corner of Thompson Avenue and Church Street. For further information about this service contact Cleeland Bus Lines on (03) 5952 1042
Live music performances and a super screen in Thompson Avenue on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be supplemented by rider interviews and other motorcycle related activities.
The ‘Classic on Cowes’ vintage motorcycle display will take place on the Esplanade between Warley Avenue and Thompson Avenue from 9.00am until 3.00pm on Saturday, 22 October.
There are four bands playing across the weekend and a replay of the main race on Sunday night. Residents are encouraged to come out and get into the spirit of the event.
Various street closures and restricted vehicle access will apply in the entertainment precincts.
Traffic and the Blue Line
Gap Road south of Back Beach Road will be closed to traffic from Friday until Sunday. Gap Road north of Back Beach Road will have restricted access from Ventnor Beach Road between 7.30am and 7.30pm during these days. Gap Road north residents will have access via Phillip Island Road at all times.
Back Beach Road will operate one way only circuit bound from Beachcomber Avenue between 8.00am and midday on Sunday, 23 October. It will operate one way only from the circuit to Phillip Island Road Melbourne bound from 3.30pm until around 6.30pm later that afternoon.
The blue line will be in operation on Phillip Island Road between Back Beach Road and the Bass Highway merge on Sunday from 3.00pm to 7.00pm.
Part of the on circuit entertainment this year will include flyovers by RAAF 7/18A Classic Hornets. A single Classic Hornet will be conducting flying displays throughout the event.
Two Hornets will be conducting a practice flypast on Friday, 21 October at an altitude of 50 metres. A similar flyover with a single hornet will take place on Saturday, 22 October at 9.35am and Sunday, 23 October at 3.25pm.
While these flyovers are a great spectacle, they can cause distress to pets and farm animals. All residents and landowners in the general vicinity of the circuit are advised to take any necessary precautions to safely manage their pets and livestock.