As a cyclist and someone who enjoys the buzz of seeing a project come together I see Risk Assessment and Safety Plans as critical to the success of the event, increasing local residents’ approval helping to generate the goodwill that enables an event to continue into future years.
The success of this has shown with the same event HQ being used over recent years and has helped with developing site related preparation to be fine tuned and evolve as the number of entrants and offerings grow (e.g. with chip timing and bike stands).
The site was reviewed when first used for its suitability for the event giving consideration to a number of areas, particularly relating to parking, facilities and local residents.
We anticipated a high proportion of riders from Nottinghamshire and surrounding areas who may well cycle to the event. However there would always be a large number that would drive, expecting parking at or close to the event.
I see Risk Assessment and Safety Plans as critical to the success of the event, increasing local residents’ approval helping to generate the goodwill that enables an event to continue into future years.
The site provided sufficient tarmac (on site) and road side parking for 2012 and 2013, although with more riders in 2013 travelling from further afield (including Cambridge, London and the home counties) and an increase expected in 2014 numbers additional parking would be needed. The site has a significant grassed area to help this, along with planning a change to the Event Base layout: for registration area, feed-station, relaxing area and bike parking.
It was expected that some riders would need to change clothing at the site and would undoubtedly require the toilet. The site includes a toilet block with changing facilities, resolving a possible issue (particularly to residents) of riders changing in cars or popping behind bushes when needed!
Retaining the event to the site minimises the impact on local residents and traffic and we feel it satisfies all criteria. As a courtesy rather than a requirement the police are notified each year and liaising closely with Broxtowe Borough Council both ensure that local considerations are dealt with appropriately.
At the start…
A separate key consideration was the departure of significant numbers of riders, and how they join the road.
The site access is along a straight section of road approximately 100 metres away from a small roundabout. The road is not a major link road but does have frequent traffic. This was seen as a major benefit and with departures being staggered under the stewardship and management of Beeston CC representatives, keeping a close eye on traffic flow, riders are able to start the ride without concern.
And along the Route...
The onus for riding responsibly and with care for other road users and residents along the route remains with the riders themselves. Beeston CC makes this position clear but also provides assistance.
Beeston CC takes great care in ensuring sufficient route signage is put up, being positioned in advance of junctions to avoid the dangers of late braking and sudden changes in direction by riders. It’s also worth noting that the signs are put up and removed as close to the event to reduce the impact along the route
It should be said that the onus for riding responsibly and with care for other road users and residents along the route remains with the riders themselves. Beeston CC makes this position clear but also provides assistance on the short route and are always available by phone at the Event Base and at on route feed-stations as required.
One of the many benefits of using the British Cycling online registration system is the Event Insurance that needs to be taken out as part of the package when the event goes live on their system, which extends to the riders themselves and is charged per entrant. The initial Insurance Certificate and the Risk Assessment is a pre-requisite for booking the site for the event.
Having reviewed the safety and risk for the event we continue to find things to change and improve – and I’ve no doubt 2014 will be no exception. More discussions will take place as the event gets closer to further improve the current plans and make it even better for this year’s riders!
Online entry is now open for Beeston CC’s 2014 Sportive:
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