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.
The ‘All Round Map’ of the Isle of Man included with the package for Coach Operators has limited information therefore it is recommended that you use the Ordnance Survey Landranger Map No. 95.
Many of the small towns and villages have narrow roads and one-way systems. Coaches are prohibited in some narrow roads. See Traffic Signs. Please use the preferred routes to the coach parking areas described below.
The Island's heritage sites 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 below for details.
The Ferry Port at the Sea Terminal in Douglas has allocated parking for up to 4 coaches situated on the Victoria Pier for picking up and dropping off ferry passengers. Parking is normally for short duration only and overnight parking is only permitted in this location by prior arrangement with Harbours Division, tel +44 1624 686630. Coaches departing by ferry should proceed to the Circus Beach Marshalling Area where appropriate security checks will be made.
Douglas Promenade. Parking is permitted during the day and overnight in 7 dedicated coach parking bays situated in various places on the sea side of Douglas Promenade. Three spaces are situated at the northern end of the Promenade on King Edward Road, opposite the horse tram terminus. A further two coach parking bays are situated opposite the Palace Hotel on Queen’s Promenade and there are two near the War Memorial on Harris Promenade.
Coaches may be cleaned and serviced, by prior arrangement, at the Bus Vannin's Bus Depot, situated to the west of the North Quay, between the Railway Station and Tesco’s Supermarket. Contact : Bus Traffic Manager Tel. + 44 1624 663366.
During the summer months there are 2 dedicated coach parking bays in Dale Street, Ramsey, close to the West Quay, adjacent to the former Swimming Pool. 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. All other routes from the north, west or from the A18 Mountain Road is via the West Quay.
The Victorian Villa 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.
Peel has coach parking available on Marine Parade (sea front) in the Creg Malin car park. This car park can accommodate a maximum of 6 coaches. Access via the A4 is from Stanley Road, otherwise follow the signs to the Quay or House of Manannan and then to the Promenade.
Parking for coaches is available at the rear of the House of Manannan Museum and on the breakwater for visiting Peel Castle.
Castletown has several heritage sites, the Castle, the Old House of Keys, the Nautical Museum and the old Grammar School which are all centrally located. 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.
Up to 10 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).
Port St Mary
Two coach parking bays are provided on the car park opposite the Town Hall on the Promenade, close to the entrance to the Village. (First left after the school).
Coaches over 12m length are advised not to enter lower Laxey and the Promenade. The Village of Laxey provides dedicated coach parking for 3 coaches at the Dumbells Terrace car park (opposite Brown’s Café) off the A2, over the tram lines. Parking for the Lady Isabella Laxey Wheel is located further up Dumbell’s Terrace behind the Fire Station. Access to the car park at the Wheel is unsuitable for coaches.
A shuttle bus running between Laxey Promenade, the Woollen Mills and the Laxey Wheel is operation during the summer.
Cregneash Village in the south of the Island is a living, working illustration of 19th and 20th century Manx Crofting life. Coach parking is available in the Public Car Park at the entrance to the Village.
The Sound at the southern tip of the Island has coach parking adjacent to the entrance to the new visitor centre and café.
Rushen Abbey, Ballasalla
Parking for coaches in the car park at the front 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