Cycle events held in the Parish
Any racing on the highway is governed by the Cycle Racing on the Highway Regulations 1960. Local and regional police approval is sought by the organising club in advance of an event.
British Cycling is the governing body of cycle clubs and encourages all club event organisers to engage with local communities. The Parish Council does not have the authority to either permit or prevent such events taking place and does not receive any financial incentive whatsoever.
Cycle route information, promotion and risk assessments are provided to cycle clubs by British Cycling, who welcome comments and information from local communities and clubs to keep their routes and risk assessments accurate.
British Cycling operates within The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents framework.
British Cycling recognises the impact grassroots racing can have on communities. The South East Regional Events Organiser has imposed a 5 race maximum limit on any course their registered clubs use throughout a season. If there are two races in the same day this is counted as 2 of the 5. This initiative has been welcomed by British Cycling’s Police liaison officers for Kent, Surrey and Sussex as satisfactory.
Keeping road users safe - the mechanics of the race convoy
The forward convoy of the peloton consists of 3 cars and between 5-6 motorbikes escorting the race. Their primary function is to travel well ahead of the race and aid it’s safe passage. Pedestrians and other road users will receive sufficient warning of the approaching peloton; the convoy is used to manage both mobile and static hazards.
The front most vehicles will often be anywhere between 2-5 minutes ahead of the front most bike rider, which allows plenty of time to manage situations that may occur ahead of the race with good time. In addition to the race convoy, there is also:
- Several volunteered marshalled points around the course to signal to other road users of the race arrival
- Nationally accredited marshals on major road junctions, who have legal powers to stop traffic
- Radio contact between marshals, the race convoy and officials travelling with the race.
- The race is governed by highway regulations which include all the elements of typical road use, including speeds and road positioning, which is always reiterated to drivers & riders via the pre-race briefing.
- Convoy drivers are highly skilled and are often professional advance drivers/riders
The race can be neutralised (halted) instantly at any time, if required. The vehicle closest to the riders will issue a neutralised flag and riders are forbidden from passing this vehicle; the race is then slowed down/or even stopped if necessary to navigate any hazards safely. This happens fairly regularly for regional racing and organisers are not adverse to using this option if required.
Can the race marshals stop the traffic?
Yes. An accredited marshal is someone who has been trained to use the 'Stop! Cycle Race' sign to legally stop and hold traffic to allow the safe passage of a cycle race on the open highway.
The stops are temporary, for a few minutes only to allow the riders to pass through. This is for the safety of all road users.
If you would like to find out more information about accredited marshals, or even how to become a volunteer yourself, please visit the British Cycling website here.