Campaign plan to save cycle racing from Derbyshire ban

The High Peak Road Race, as pictured, is under threat with other Derbyshire races after police have raised road safety concerns.
The High Peak Road Race, as pictured, is under threat with other Derbyshire races after police have raised road safety concerns.
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Cycle road race organisers are battling to compile risk assessment plans to secure a select group of routes and save the amateur sport from a total ban in Derbyshire and the Peak District.

South Yorkshire Police initially drew the authorities’ attention to the sport after they had responded to complaints about races in Rotherham and an incident involving cyclists and a combine harvester.

Subsequently, all road races in South Yorkshire were suspended and attention was drawn to others organised by The League International including the North Midlands Road Race League and its many associated events in Derbyshire.

NMRRL spokesman Peter Dungworth said: “Following the substantial reduction in the number of British Cycling road races following regionalisation in 2000, the NMRRL has been the mainstay of this area’s road racing calendar and its cessation would be a major loss to this area’s road racing.

“These latest developments will be of interest to many more people who have in the past, and continue to be, interested in our wonderful sport.

“Much work is needed by all concerned to save and revitalise road racing in our area.”

Following a NMRRL meeting last month, Mr Dungworth has compiled a register of courses in the North Midlands including 63 courses and this includes 33 courses which are deemed usable by the NMRRL despite police concerns and 30 which could possibly be abandoned.

A further sample shortlist has been compiled by Mr Dungworth of three affected areas including North Derbyshire, North Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire with each containing six courses.

The North Derbyshire race route list includes Barlow Triangle, Chelmorton/Flagg/Monyash, Duckmanton/Staveley, Elmton/Whaley, Handley/Marsh Lane, Tideswell/Housley and Foolow/Bradwell.

Mr Dungworth has suggested that the best three should be selected from each group and be submitted for consideration to the authorities which would be Derbyshire Constabulary and Derbyshire County Council for the North Derbyshire routes.

Plans include submitting a map of each course, a description of each route and a risk assessment for joint submissions to each relevant highway authority and police force.

Mr Dungworth added: “Our aim should be to compile - as soon as possible - a map of each course, a description of its route and a comprehensive Risk Assessment for joint submission to each relevant highway authority and constabulary if possible before Christmas.

“A risk assessment for each course agreed jointly by all cycling organisations, highways authorities and constabularies would be an ideal solution.

“If courses are not allowed then it is fundamental that we learn the specific criteria for such decisions so that we may use such knowledge for others.”