Wheels put back on road racing after MP intervenes

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CYCLISTS should be able to resume racing on roads in East Yorkshire, after the police back-tracked over their insistence on full road closures.

It came after Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart called for “common sense”, following the cancellation of some events, and fears dozens of others could be affected.

Cycling representatives are being called to a meeting in June to clarify Humberside Police and East Riding Council’s position.

Mr Stuart, a keen cyclist, wrote to police commissioner Matthew Grove to ask officers to look at the issue again, after fears were raised that road racing in the area was coming to a grinding halt. It now appears that the police do not have the power to ban events.

He said: “The police have responded and have said they are going to change the wording of the letter they use to organisers in the future.

“What I want to see is clarity for the volunteers and amateur groups who put thousands of hours into organising events that are tremendously popular and are a real strength of the local area. “Racing should go on as before - but organisers as ever should take advice and take responsibility for ensuring events are safe.”

Police commissioner Matthew Grove claimed there had been “misunderstandings and misconceptions” as to the police position.

He said: “I certainly want to see the fantastic spectacle of cycling events continue on public roads but I’m mindful that the safety of the cyclists, pedestrians, spectators and motorists must be paramount. I would urge that the utmost care is taken by the organisers in putting on events, particularly around the time of day and days of the week during which events are put on.”

Cyclists feared around 40 events would have to be called off unless there was a change of heart.

A statement from British Cycling’s Director of Cyclesport and Membership, Jonny Clay, said: “Full road closures are cost prohibitive for the vast majority of road races and this approach would see a deterioration of road racing in East Yorkshire. We are talking to Humberside Police about more workable options – such as using the legally empowered stop sign used temporarily by volunteer race marshals – and we hope to help resolve this issue as soon as possible to preserve road racing in the region.”