Dual carriageway cycle time trials halted following death on A11

Time trial on A11

National Highways have warned of significant dangers posed by cycle time trial events on the A11 - Credit: Archant

Cycle time trials on dual carriageways have been suspended after police and highway officials raised concerns following the death of a competitor on the A11.

A series of events have either been cancelled or moved to alternative single carriageway roads by regional organising body Cycling Time Trials East District. 

Cheryl Tye

Cheryl Tye who died while competing in a time trial on the A11 - Credit: Contributed

It follows the death of Cheryl Tye, 52, who was taking part in a time trial in June when she was hit from behind by a van near Roundham.

Police and National Highways subsequently said they had repeatedly highlighted the risks to bike groups, but could not prevent the events being held because cyclists have a legal right to ride on A roads.

A National Highways spokesman said: “For a number of years, we have warned the groups about the significant dangers in running time trials on major A roads. But from a legal perspective there is nothing we can do to stop them.”

Mike Johnson, East District courses secretary, said the group had now decided to stop all events on dual carriageways for the rest of the year.

“It has meant we have lost quite a few of our events because of it,” he said.

A11 dual carriageway near Roudham

The A11 dual carriageway near Roudham where competitors were taking part in a time trial - Credit: Google

“Where possible we have moved events on to other roads but we have had to cancel our 100 mile championship and a 30 mile event, and we had already cancelled a 12 hour event because of the roadworks on the A11.

“We are still running a 10, 15 and 25 mile, and a 50 mile, event but it has now been moved to the A143 later this month.”

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Time trials involve cyclists riding alone at minute intervals competing against the clock. 

Police and the highways officials hold twice yearly meetings with the cycle groups in the region.

Time trial

Organisers have to give police 28 days notice of time trials and follow guidelines - Credit: Archant

Norfolk police said the law requires time trial organisers to give 28 days notice, while National Highways said groups were issued with advice on issues including insurance, race marshals and signage.

Mr Johnson said: “Everything is very rigidly controlled. Police are informed so they know where and when events are taking place, they are only held during hours of light traffic and signs are put out, especially at junctions where traffic comes on to the A11. 

“All cyclists also now have to use front and rear lights, which you see from half a mile away, so there is really no excuse for any accidents at all.”