The East District branch of Cycling Time Trials, the national governing body for time trials in England and Wales, has suspended races on dual carriageways following the death of a rider in June.
52-year-old Cheryl Tye was struck and killed by a van driver while competing in the East District 50-mile time trial championship on the A11 in Norfolk, between Croxton and Eccles.
On the same road in 2010, a rider was airlifted to hospital with a suspected broken vertebrae following a collision 175 miles into a 12-hour event, while last year a time trial participant was seriously injured after being hit from behind by a van driver on the A11 between Snetterton and Shropham.
Earlier in June, GB triathlete Rebecca Comins was killed while taking part in a time trial on the A40 near Raglan in Monmouthshire. Police arrested a 47-year-old man from the Abergavenny area on suspicion of causing death by careless driving who was subsequently released under investigation.
A week after Tye’s death, National Highways, the body responsible for England’s motorways and some A-roads, warned of the “significant dangers” of holding time trials on major 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 organisation’s spokesperson said.
National Highways also confirmed that it will continue to issue advice to ensure guidelines surrounding insurance, race marshals and signage are followed, and that twice yearly meetings with cycling groups, the police and the road network body will continue in the area.
However, the East District branch of Cycling Time Trials has since announced that none of the regional body’s events will take place on dual carriageways for the remainder of the year.
“[The decision] has meant we have lost quite a few of our events because of it,” Mike Johnson, East District CTT’s secretary, told the Eastern Daily Press.
“Where possible we have moved events on to other roads but we have had to cancel our 100 mile championship and a 30 mile event, and we had already cancelled a 12 hour event because of the roadworks on the A11.
“We are still running a 10, 15 and 25 mile, and a 50 mile event, but it has now been moved to the A143 later this month.”
Johnson also noted that the group has complied with all of the legal requirements associated with running time trials, including providing the police with 28 days’ notice of an event, a description of the course, and the number of competitors and names of officials.
“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.”
Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.