Isle of Man legislation regarding vehicle weights and dimensions may differ from those authorised in the country of registration of the visiting coaches.
The Isle of Man Road Transport Licensing Committee is responsible for regulating coaches brought temporarily into the Island and regulations have been made under the Road Transport Act 2001¹.
Buses and coaches may be brought temporarily into the Island for a period of up to but not exceeding one month. Passengers that may be carried are those making a temporary stay under a ‘package tour’ arrangement. All arrangements and payment must be made in advance, outside the Island. Cabotage Operations are prohibited, i.e. the carriage of goods or passengers that originates and terminates within the Isle of Man by an operator not licensed by the Road Transport Licensing Committee.
There is no requirement for the passengers to physically accompany the vehicle to and from the Island, and therefore the passengers may travel by air or by ferry independently of the vehicle.
Drivers of visiting coaches who are licensed to drive that vehicle in the country or territory of registration are granted a temporary exemption from Isle of Man Road Transport driver licensing requirements for one month².
Vehicle requirements - length
The maximum permitted length for any coach is 13.5m providing they meet the EU turning circle directive.
Vehicle requirements - weight
Plated 2-axle coaches fitted with twin tyres and road-friendly suspension are permitted on Manx roads up to the maximum permitted weight specified on the latest plate carried by the vehicle. If such a vehicle does not have a plate, the maximum total permitted weight is 18,000kg. depending on the axle spacing, and the maximum axle weight is 11,500kg for the driving axle.
In the case of 2-axle coaches without twin tyres and without road-friendly suspension, Isle of Man limits apply. In such a case the total weight of the vehicle is limited to 16,260 kg. depending on the axle spacing, and its maximum axle weight is limited to 10,170kg. for each axle.
In the case of 3 axle coaches, whether or not they are fitted with twin tyres and road-friendly suspension, the permitted weights are 24,390kg for the vehicle as a whole depending on the axle spacing and 10,170kg for each axle.
It is recommended that you use the Ordnance Survey Landranger Map No. 95 for planning days out on the Isle of Man.
Many of the small towns and villages have narrow roads and one-way systems. Coaches are prohibited on some narrow roads. Please refer to Traffic Signs when travelling around the Island. Please use the preferred routes to the coach parking areas described below and refrain from using Satnav on the island as it can send coaches down unsuitable roads.
The Island's historic sites and key attractions are regularly visited by coach parties and where possible coach parking is accommodated nearby but in some cases, for example, Castletown and Laxey Wheel, parking adjacent to heritage sites is not possible. Please see details below of drop off and parking areas.
Parking is permitted during the day and overnight in 11 dedicated coach parking bays situated in various places on Douglas Promenade. 9 spaces are situated at the northern end of the Promenade on King Edward Road, opposite the horse tram terminus. A further 2 coach parking bays are situated on Mona Terrace behind the multi-story car park. There are two drop off points opposite the Villa Marina and two further drop off points outside the Penta and Hydro Hotel.
The Ferry Port at the Sea Terminal in Douglas has allocated parking for up to 4 coaches situated on the Victoria Pier. Overnight parking is permitted at the Sea Terminal between 6.30pm and 8am. Please can drivers leave their contact details at the front of their vehicles when parking overnights. Between 8am and 6.30pm is strictly drop off and pick up only. If you need to leave the coach in the daytime, please move the coach to a designated parking bay on the promenade.
During the summer months there is 1 dedicated coach parking bay on Dale Street, Ramsey, close to the West Quay. Setting down only is permitted in the nearby Market Place. The preferred route to Dale Street from the south is via Queen's Promenade, if using the A2 Coast Road.
The Victorian historic house at The Grove, Ramsey has free parking for coaches in the car park at the front of the site. For visits to the Mooragh Park, coaches may park on the car park at the northern end accessed via the Mooragh Promenade.
Please note that there are roadworks on East Quay until approximately May 2023. Check the latest road closure information.
Peel has coach parking available on Marine Parade (sea front) in the Creg Malin car park. This car park can accommodate a maximum of 2 coaches. During the roadworks, access to Creg Malin car park will be via the Stanley Road. Parking for coaches is also available at the rear of the House of Manannan Museum. Follow the signs to the Quay or House of Manannan.
Castletown has several Manx National Heritage historic attractions in the town which means it can be relatively busy in the peak season and during cruise visits. It is highly recommended for drivers to co-ordinate with Manx National Heritage group Bookings Officer prior to visiting the attractions or call ahead.
Castle Rushen, The Old House of Keys, the Nautical Museum and the Old Grammar School are all centrally located. The Manx Wildlife Trust Scarlett Nature Discovery Centre, is a 15 - 20 minute walk from the main coach park.
There are a number of cafés and restaurants in the town, it would be good if you could call ahead to state your time of arrival if your group have time for refreshments.
Setting-down and picking-up for these sites should be undertaken at the dedicated coach parking area behind the main square in Farrant's Way.
Coaches may park day or night on the car park to the rear of the Police Station. Access from Station Road (A5) is via Droghadfayle Road, (immediately before the Police Station). A new drop-off point is available on Bridson Street by the Rushen Heritage Trust Centre, this will feature a welcome sign with local details for your passengers.
Port Erin is home to the Isle of Man Railway Museum and Milner's Tower. There are many cafes, walks and independent shops to explore as well as visiting one of the best beaches on the Island.
Port St Mary
Parking and set down is at the bottom of Port St Mary on Lime Street.
oaches over 12m length are advised not to enter lower Laxey and the Promenade. The Village of Laxey provides dedicated coach parking for 4 coaches at the Dumbells Terrace car park (opposite Brown's Café) off the A2, over the tram lines.
Parking and drop off for the Laxey Wheel is located approximately 300m further up Mines Road. After turning into the Fire Station grounds, the drop off and parking is immediately on your left. Access to this site should only be made via the Salmon Lake Centre side of the station (north end). Under no circumstances should this be accessed from the other side. Please note that no other areas of the Fire Station grounds or access roads should be used. Access to the car park at the Wheel is unsuitable for coaches.
Cregneash Village in the south of the Island is a living illustration of a Manx farming and crofting community in the 19th and early 20th century. Coach parking is available in the Public Car Park at the entrance to the Village. There is a two minute walk from the car park to Cregneash via an uneven downhill public footpath. Please reference the Cregneash Access Guide for more details.
The Sound at the southern tip of the Island has coach parking adjacent to the entrance to the café. This can be busy in peak season for coaches and general visitors so it is recommended to call the café to inform them of your planned arrival +44 1624 838123. There are also narrow roads on the way to the Sound from Cregneash.
Rushen Abbey, Ballasalla
Parking for coaches in the car park at the rear of the site.
Tynwald Hill, St Johns
Coach parking at St Johns is situated on the A1 at the entrance to the Arboretum, Douglas side of the Tynwald site.
¹ The Road Transport Operators (Vehicles Brought Temporarily into the Island) Regulations 2002. SD 48/02 [Weight limits set out in the Explanatory Notes have been superseded by Construction and Use Regulations.].
² The Road Transport (Driver Licensing) (Exemption) Regulations 2002. SD 86/02