A11 time trial safety warning after cyclist’s death
06:00 July 5, 2022
Police and road authorities have warned of the “significant dangers” of holding cycle races on the A11 following the death of a competitor, but say they are powerless to stop the events.
The organizations say they have repeatedly highlighted the risks to groups of cyclists, but cannot prevent the events from taking place because cyclists have the legal right to ride on A-roads.
The latest warning comes after the death last month of Cheryl Tye, who was racing a Cycling Club Breckland-sponsored time trial between Croxton and Eccles when she was hit by a van.
Emergency services, including an air ambulance, were called to Roudham at around 9.40am on June 26, but the 52-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.
The A11 dual carriageway is a popular time trial venue for local clubs, but has seen a number of crashes involving riders and drivers in recent years.
Last July, another female competitor was seriously injured after being hit by a van while competing in a time trial between Snetterton and Shropham.
National Highways said that despite the safety concerns, as people have the legal right to cycle on an A-road, there is nothing the police or they can do to stop an event.
A spokesperson said: ‘For several years we have been warning groups about the significant dangers of racing against the clock on the main A roads. But from a legal point of view there is nothing we can do to stop them.
He said groups of cyclists have been given guidance to ensure the correct guidelines are followed, including insurance, race marshals and signage.
Norfolk Police say organizers are required by law to give 28 days notice for races, including the date and time of the event, description of the course, number of competitors and names of officials .
He confirmed that the June 26 event complied with the requirements.
The National Roads Police and Road Safety Team hold semi-annual meetings with area cycling groups.
Chief Inspector Jonathan Chapman said: “We are working with our partners and event organizers because the safety of all our road users remains a priority.”
Ms Tye was an avid triathlete and cyclist and a member of the Plomesgate Cycling Club in Suffolk.
A former member of the RAF and director of Hadleigh Borough Council, she was described as a ‘spirited and determined person’ by former council colleagues who said her death was ‘a terrible tragedy’.
Her husband Chris, who also competed in the time trial, paid tribute to his wife on social media, writing “she loved doing triathlons and all sports”.
He added: “She touched everyone she met in a positive way and will be sorely missed. She was my soul mate, a beautiful spirit and I loved my time with her.