Back our Facebook Campaign to Save Road Racing
Become a fan of our "Keep Racing on the Roads" campaign to save Road Racing on our campaign Facebook Page.
July 2010 - Campaign Update: The campaign starts to bear fruit in the corridors of Westminster - campaign update
British Cycling's Facebook campaign "Keep Racing on the Roads" has got off to a flying start with well over 7000 fans now registerd. To address the problems British Cycling is working with the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), Department for Transport and the Home Office. In March, MPs and parliamentary candidates received a letter from British Cycling, signed by CEO Ian Drake, Performance Director Dave Brailsford CBE and Sir Chris Hoy, drawing attention to the issue and asking for support. British Cycling is working hard to get some momentum behind the issue so that it can be addressed quickly in the new parliament and now you can help too by supporting its Keep Racing on the Roads Facebook campaign.
This is Why We Need Your Help
Despite the general boom in cycling and the success of elite British Road riders, Road Racing in the UK faces an uncertain future. Although Road Racing remains the largest discipline of the sport, it is in decline, with the number of events having singnificantly reduced in the last decade in contrast to the unprecedented growth in other cycle sport disciplines.
The reasons for this decline are well documented: organisers, most of whom are volunteers, are increasingly unable to cope with unhelpful legislation and increasing police charges. Many race organisers are finding the barriers to promoting just too difficult to navigate and road races and participants in the sport are being lost.
Outdated Legislation: Road racing is regulated according to the Cycle Racing on the Highway Regulations, 1960. Under these regulations, the police must be notified of an upcoming road race and the race must comply with what are termed the standard conditions, such as a limit on the number of riders. Additionally, the police have the right to impose any further conditions they deem appropriate, which creates most of the problems.
Police Charging: Cycling increasingly suffers from high and very variable policing costs, which have increased significantly in recent years with extremely wide variations between areas and from year to year.
Marshalling: Another major issue is marshalling. The organiser's job would be much easier and police time saved if there was a clear practice established which allowed marshals to stop and slow traffic briefly in order to let a race pass.
The solution to these issues is relatively straightforward: the next government simply needs to amend and update the secondary legislation governing this area of law - the Cycle Racing on the Highways Regulations 1960. It was amended temporarily to allow the Tour de France to come through the UK, demonstrating not only how prohibitive the legislation is, but how easy it would be to amend it.
The amended legislation would start from the presumption that road races are a legitimate activity and should be authorised by the police, subject to the fulfilment of an updated set of requirements. This will limit the current regional variability of police requirements and allow our volunteers to organise races more effectively. We believe that the best means of introducing these conditions would be through a Code of Conduct which would include formal recognition of the role played by trained and accredited marshals to control traffic at bike races.
In order to allow those organisers who need police presence at their races to budget we also need a consistently applied policy for police charging at road races which recognises that the overwhelming majority are run on a non commercial basis by volunteers.
Ian Drake, British Cycling's Chief Executive said "The decline of road races in this country absolutely must be reversed. We're working really hard on this issue and we believe that with the right support from Government and the Olympics on the horizon we have a rare opportunity to make some fundamental changes. I'm asking all our members to get behind us as we campaign to secure the future of UK road racing."
HOW YOU CAN HELP!
We have set up a "Keep Racing on the Roads" Facebook page to act as a public face of the campaign to turn the sport round. We need as many people as possible to sign up as a fan of the page and the campaign. We all know that the more people are seen to be backing a campaign like this, the more likely the politicians and other influential figures are to help us.
We will be updating our fans regularly on progress with the campaign and will soon be asking everyone to help by writing to their local MP or prospective parliamentary candidate.