As the start of the road cycling season approaches, British Cycling has partnered with over 80 per cent of the country’s police forces to help ensure the safety of participants and other road users.
Throughout the coming months, drivers may see British Cycling-trained accredited marshals holding ‘Stop – Cycle Race’ signs, which allow the safe passage of a British Cycling registered road race.
It is a legal requirement for drivers to stop for this sign, which is backed by the National Police Chief’s Council and 80 per cent of forces across the country.
Lead for cycle racing on the highway at the NPCC Andy Battle said: “The Accredited Marshal Scheme was developed by British Cycling in conjunction with the Department for Transport and the NPCC to provide a safe, sustainable and effective method of traffic management at road race events.
“The use of the sign and system has been growing over the last few years across all UK police forces as a practical and professional approach to race safety. The NPCC fully supports the use of the sign and marshals at these events.”
Avon and Somerset Constabulary is one of the police forces to endorse the scheme, and a spokesperson for the force said: “The scheme, in conjunction with the professional risk assessments provided and the excellent pre-race briefings given by race organisers, makes each event much safer for both riders and road users.
“All road users should be aware that stop signs used under the Accredited Marshal Scheme should be treated in the same way that you would a red traffic light. Failure to comply with this sign is a traffic offence, which could lead to prosecution.”
British Cycling director of cycling Jonny Clay added:“Accredited marshals only stop traffic for a short period of time in order to make junctions safe for the passing of the race, having minimal impact upon other road users.
“Drivers will have adequate notice they are approaching a traffic control with ‘Caution Cycle Event’ and ‘Traffic Control Ahead’ roads signs being placed ahead of each accredited marshal, who will be dressed in high visibility clothing.
“We have had a great response to the scheme from drivers. We appreciate their patience and understanding in allowing the safe delivery of cycle races on the highway, and would ask them to spread the word about the scheme.”
The areas in which the scheme will be used in 2018 are: Durham, Cumbria, Lancashire, Merseyside, West Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Nottingham, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Leicester, Staffordshire, West Mercia, Warwick, Gloucestershire, Thames Valley, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall and Avon and Somerset.