British Cycling has been working hard over the past three years to reverse what had become a serious decline in many parts of the country in the staging of grassroots road racing. Via the establishment of a working group consisting of representatives from British Cycling, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Home Office, progress has been made across the three core areas at the heart of this decline:
- Outdated Legislation - Agreement has been reached amongst all key stakeholders that the current Cycle Racing on the Highway Regulations, which were established in 1960, need updating.
- Police Charging - Cycling was the only sport to be involved in the drafting of new guidance issued in March by ACPO which should engender a more consistent approach to police charging for road races.
- Marshalling - A successful pilot allowing marshals to stop and slow traffic has been running in Wales and Essex, and an alternative sign-based approach will also be piloted over the summer.
The creation of the ACPO Liaison role is the next step in the process, providing dedicated resource to build further on this work and ensure that decisions made at a national level are then implemented effectively locally. Inspector Brayshaw comes to the role with a high level of cycle race experience having been in overall charge of policing and safety (Race Command) at the Tour of Britain.
Ian Drake, British Cycling's Chief Executive, said "Good progress has been made over the past 18 months or so, but the appointment of Bob marks a step-change in British Cycling's drive to further improve the situation for road race organisers and modernise the regulations under which road racing is managed.
"Having someone of Bob's experience and standing dedication to liaising with police forces around the country can only benefit our work. Establishing productive relations with the police authorities is essential for the future of road racing, and in Bob we have someone leading the discussion who understands the needs and priorities of both the event organisers and the police. This should provide a fantastic foundation in terms of what we're looking to achieve in this area over the next couple of years and we're delighted to have him on board."
Inspector Brayshaw's priorities will be firstly to review the outcomes of the marshalling pilots and identify a definitive method for the recruitment and training of people to stop and control traffic that can be rolled out across the UK. Secondly he will lead on the driving through the amendments needed to modernise the current legislation and make them more relevant to today's racing scene.
Inspector Brayshaw said: "The work to Keep Racing on the Roads has gradually gathered momentum and everyone involved sees the need for a dedicated role to ensure that this continues. If we can achieve the necessary amendments to the legislation and resolve the issue with marshals we will create a platform on which road racing in the UK can flourish for many years to come."
Metropolitan Police Commander Mark Gore is the National Cycling Lead for ACPO and has led the establishment of the new role. He said: "I am grateful to British Cycling for their support of this new role, which will be pivotal in the development of partnerships between police forces and the cycling community. The work by Inspector Brayshaw will enhance and promote the safe environment for cyclists, spectators and local communities."
Keep up-to-date with British Cycling's work to Keep Racing on the Roads through its dedicated Facebook site.
For more information and to find out about the many benefits of joining British Cycling, visit www.britishcycling.org.uk/membership
photos Janos Schmidt