Race organisers want help from government as cycling returns to South Yorkshire

Jonny Clay. Picture: Bruce RollinsonJonny Clay. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Jonny Clay. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
CYCLE RACING is set to return to South Yorkshire’s roads next week after the sport was temporarily suspended in the region, but stronger guidance on how to stage road races is needed from government, British Cycling said.

Several road races were called off in the area recently amid safety concerns, some of which arose from an incident involving cyclists and a combine harvester which led to the cancellation of Tumby’s Road Race in Braithwell, Doncaster.

South Yorkshire Police, British Cycling and highways officers suspended local races but after a meeting between the police force and the national cycling body, the Police confirmed that a race will go ahead at Braithwell this week.

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The event will be reviewed to ensure there are no on-going safety concerns for cyclists and the public, and all future races will be individually risk assessed and authorised jointly between the Police, British Cycling and the highways departments at local authorities.

Jonny Clay, director of cycle sport and membership at British Cycling, said: “The meeting was productive and we are trying to find a solution that works for everyone. Cycling can be an important part of an active lifestyle and we want to increase the opportunities people have to ride their bikes, including the chance to race. The decision to give next week’s race at Braithwell the green light is encouraging, but ultimately race organisers and the police need more clarity on the rules around these races, which is a job for the Department for Transport (DfT).”

“A DfT spokesman said: “There are clear police guidelines for managing cycling events to protect cyclists and the public. Decisions on how to police individual races are a matter for the relevant force. We are planning common sense reforms later this year to inspire new generations of cyclists, removing unnecessary regulations while maintaining safety.”

The Out Of The Saddle cycling group tweeted that its summer and autumn races would both take place on the Braithwell course.

The summer event is a 83-mile road race sponsored by British Cycling on Sunday, August 30 starting at 10am.