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Renewed appeal over time trialist killed in dual carriageway collision

Cheryl Tye was killed when she was hit by the driver of a blue Citroën Dispatch van while competing in the East District 50-mile time trial championship on the A11 in Norfolk last year

Norfolk Police has made a renewed appeal for information and witnesses in relation to the dual carrigeway collision which saw a time trial participant killed on the A11 in the county last year.

Cheryl Tye, 52, was pronounced dead at the scene after emergency services were called to the A-road near Roundham at around 9.40am on Sunday 26 June following reports of the rider being struck from behind by the driver of a Citroën Dispatch van.

The former council manager had been competing in the CC Breckland-organised East District 50-mile time trial championship between Croxton and Eccles, and the incident led to National Highways warning of "significant dangers" in racing time trials on major roads, plus the subsequent suspension of dual carriageway time trials a month later.

> Dual carriageway time trials suspended after cyclist killed on A11

In September, an inquest was opened into the death, with reviews in March and August of this year, Norfolk Police marking the one-year anniversary of the collision by once again appealing for anyone who may not have come forward last year to do so now.

Witnesses and people who saw the van driver beforehand are asked to contact the Norfolk Serious Collision Investigation Unit by emailing SCIU [at] norfolk.police.uk or calling 101 and quoting incident number 119 of June 26, 2022.

Mrs Tye's husband Chris, who was also taking part in the event, said his wife "touched everyone she came across in a positive way and will be sorely missed".

"She was my soulmate, a beautiful spirit and I loved the time I had with her," he wrote on social media at the time.

The A11 dual carriageway in Norfolk, while a popular time trialling venue for local clubs, has witnessed a number of collisions involving racers and drivers. A year before this fatal collision, in 2021, a female cyclist was seriously injured after being hit by a van driver from behind during a time trial on the section of the A11 between Snetterton and Shropham.

In 2010, Will Dorset was airlifted to hospital with a suspected broken vertebrae following a collision 175 miles into his 12 hour time trial on the road.

In the weeks after the collision which claimed Mrs Tye's life National Highways — the body responsible for England's motorways and some A-roads — warned of "significant dangers" in hosting time trials on busy A-roads.

"For a number of years, we have warned the groups about the significant dangers in running time trials on major A-roads. But from a legal perspective there is nothing we can do to stop them," the spokesperson said.

Norfolk Police added that the CC Breckland event had complied with requirements, including: 28 days notice, description of the course, number of competitors and names of officials.

National Highways said it will continue to issue advice to ensure guidelines surrounding insurance, race marshals and signage are followed, and twice yearly meetings with cycling groups, the police and the road network body will continue in the area.

A month later, however, the East District branch of Cycling Time Trials, the national governing body for time trials in England and Wales, suspended races on dual carriageways following the death.

The branch's secretary also noted that the group has complied with all of the legal requirements associated with running time trials.

"Everything is very rigidly controlled," Johnson said. "Police are informed so they know where and when events are taking place, they are only held during hours of light traffic and signs are put out, especially at junctions where traffic comes on to the A11.

"All cyclists also now have to use front and rear lights, which you see from half a mile away, so there is really no excuse for any accidents at all."

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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14 comments

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cyclisto | 7 months ago
2 likes

I would prefer riding on a actual motorway with an emergency lane, rather than the road shown in the picture.

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Paul J replied to cyclisto | 7 months ago
1 like

Agreed. Having ridden on the A1 in the wee north of Ireland, some of which is at motorway standard, but which then degrades to typical dual-carriageway:

- the motorway standard section was fine to cycle on, as you effectively had a whole lane to yourself - though care needed at exits with traffic coming across.

- once it went to normal DC standard, it was _horrendous_ and _terrifying_. Cars whizzing close by in the same lane at 120+ km/h. I had to quickly get off it, taking a significant and slow detour on my journey.

Motorways with hard shoulders are _much_ safer for cyclist than DCs.

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Solocle replied to cyclisto | 7 months ago
1 like

I rode on the A2 on Saturday, and yeah, surprisingly relaxed.

I even was very cheeky and turned onto the A282, joining as the M25 ended. smileyMade sure to get the fudge out of dodge before the hard shoulder ran out, though!

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Awavey | 8 months ago
12 likes

it makes me feel so angry, sad,depressed & helpless all at the same time, I just cant believe how people can live with themselves after hitting another person on the road, and dont stop, and then knowing that they were soley and fully responsible for killing another human being and taking their life away.

as for the police who take a year to ask for any witnesses, and still dont mention it was actually a hit and run, and who Im sure checked all the available cctv, the A11 is a major trunk route after all, its likely to have monitoring for crime prevention purposes

But you know the first place Id go looking for a Citroen Dispatch van on the A11 in that area, try the Snetterton business park where theres a collection of couriers and logistics companies.

in fact I believe CC Breckland had considered the risk posed by the ever increasing number of delivery vans (and their notably distracted drivers) from the Snetteron interchange, as something that may ultimately curtail the use of the A11 TT route, because you just cant marshall it enough, for them to take notice to drive safely around the riders.

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LeadenSkies replied to Awavey | 7 months ago
0 likes

Was it definitely a hit and run? None of the articles I see via Google, either from the current appeal or from the time of the incident, mention that the driver failed to stop. They all appeal for independent witnesses to the crash and or the manner of driving prior to the collision which says to me that the driver probably stopped but the police want more evidence to support any charges they may subsequently recommend.

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Rendel Harris replied to LeadenSkies | 7 months ago
1 like

Fair points but none of the reports I've seen contain any of the usual indicators that it wasn't a hit-and-run, if you see what I mean: no "the driver, who stopped at the scene, was spoken to by police", "the police interviewed the driver and released him pending further enquiries" etc. The fact that they are making an appeal for witnesses at such a late stage would seem to imply that they didn't have a suspect at the time but have now. I'm sure all will be revealed in the fullness of time.

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OnYerBike replied to Rendel Harris | 7 months ago
2 likes

I would hope - maybe naively - that the abscence of any clear statement either way is more indicative that the driver did stop than the contrary. I.e. if it had been a hit-and-run, I would think that would have been reported more prominently. 

I would also think that the appeal specifically asking for people who witnessed "the collision or the manner of driving of the van immediately beforehand" suggests they know who was driving the van and want evidence as to the circumstances of the collision/potential offences. If they did not even know who was driving, then they would be appealing for anyone who could help identify the driver, a much wider pool.  

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LeadenSkies replied to Rendel Harris | 7 months ago
0 likes

It was a genuine question as I have no idea. To me, it reads as if they have a driver who is putting forward a version of events that places little / no blame on them and they can't prove / disprove that version of events from the physical evidence so are hoping that a witness to the events or the lead up may still come forward. The wording of the current appeal is very similar to the one issued at the time. I think this is just a timely reminder of the appeal on the anniversary of the incident rather than a sudden new appeal that hasn't been made before.

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Rendel Harris replied to LeadenSkies | 7 months ago
0 likes
LeadenSkies wrote:

It was a genuine question

I didn't suggest it wasn't! Either scenario is possible, as I said I'm sure we will find out eventually and hopefully there will be an outcome that will give the poor woman's friends and family some measure of closure.

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Awavey replied to LeadenSkies | 7 months ago
3 likes

Yes, https://granfondodailynews.com/2022/06/30/time-trial-competitor-killed-b... which is why the appeal was made on the anniversary of Cheryl's death, as the police often believe such dates will hold significance to those involved and prompt them to come forward.

which is why they also rarely if ever mention "hit and run" in any of their appeals as they also believe that puts off those individuals handing themselves in for fear of being already found guilty in the eyes of the police.

lets face it if the police had already identified the driver and spoken to them, they wouldnt be waiting around a year to ask people for any more dashcam evidence, people dont keep a years archive of dash cam evidence, their case would already be built, or most likely there wouldnt be enough evidence to prosecute at all and theyd release the driver without charge, because the driver claimed the sun was in their eyes, or the rider swerved in front of them, or there was completely another van involved, or they simply forgot it had happened at all.

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LeadenSkies replied to Awavey | 7 months ago
0 likes

Thanks for confirming it was a hit and run. My only comment would be Dash cam evidence isn't the only evidence, witnesses can come forward years after the event because friendships and allegiances change, or they only realise the significance of what they saw at a later date. Anyway, hopefully the appeal brings results and justice can be done belatedly.

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stonojnr replied to Awavey | 7 months ago
0 likes

It's very similar to how Ben Jacobs death has been handled by local media and police, they just mention a collision with a car, appeal for witnesses/dashcam & nothing else, again the driver didnt stop at the scene and I dont believe has been traced yet.

https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/23602204.ipswich-hundreds-attend-cele...

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Secret_squirrel | 8 months ago
8 likes

The sad thing is that someone somewhere either has a dented Citroen Van or has got it repaired and is keeping quiet knowing they hit someone.

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brooksby replied to Secret_squirrel | 8 months ago
7 likes

Don't forget that (allegedly) it's very easy to not notice that you've hit a cyclist, and so long as you say you were completely ignorant of the collision then you're fine and you'll get a slap on the wrist... nosurprise

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