British Cycling – the sport’s governing body in the UK – has issued a statement following the cancellation of this year’s Archer Grand Prix road race due to lack of police support.
The statement is reproduced in full below.
BRITISH CYCLING AND RACING ON THE HIGHWAY
British Cycling is extremely disappointed to have received the news that the high profile and well-established Archer GP road race has been cancelled. It is working with the organisers and the Police to decide the best course of action to take.
Organised well, cycle racing on public roads is a safe, fun and exciting sport both to take part in and watch. British Cycling is committed to ensuring that these events can take place and flourish without compromising the safety of participants, officials and other road users.
With this in mind, British Cycling is working with Sport England and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) as well as individual police forces to ensure that existing guidelines and legislation are reviewed to reflect current traffic conditions and that police charging is consistent and at an appropriate level throughout the country.
In association with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) British Cycling is also working to introduce a Community Safety Accreditation Scheme. This is a national training programme which will ensure that there is a resource of accredited race marshals who will have the power to legally stop and control traffic in a road event situation. This scheme, which improves the safety of races and reduces the level of police resource needed for each event, was first introduced in Essex and Gwent in 2007. It will be rolled out to the rest of Wales from 1 March 2008 and British Cycling then hopes to introduce it in other areas in the future.
In addition, British Cycling is working with the Home Office to ensure that trained volunteers ? rather than just paid employees ? can be granted accredited powers to stop and direct traffic during a British Cycling sanctioned road event.
Commenting on the issue, British Cycling chief executive Peter King said:
?British Cycling is committed to securing the future of the use of the public highway for cycle sport now and in the future. By improving access to the public highway we can ensure that cycling, and other sports, fulfil their potential to contribute to the Government’s target of 2 million people more active by 2012.
He added: ?We will be raising the cancellation of the Archer GP at the highest level within the DCMS as part of our portfolio of work related to securing the future of events on the public highway.?
British Cycling: www.britishcycling.org.uk
Archer Grand Prix cancelled due to lack of police support