Written by JENNY MOODY
UTTOXETER’S MP has called for signs when cycle racing is taking place on the A50 ‘at the very least’ as they ‘take their lives in their hands’ during Time Trials.
Andrew Griffiths said he witnessed the cyclists himself riding down the A50 on Saturday as part of the Cycling Time Trials and did think there was an issue over safety.
Residents said angry motorists were seen to beep their horns as they tried to pass the cyclists and Staffordshire Police even warned organisers the road was ‘unsafe and potentially dangerous’ for the trial and it would leave the bikers ‘particularly vulnerable’ but they were unable to prevent it.
Mr Griffiths said: “We have raised concerns about cyclists in the past.
“I have to say that as I drove past it did go through my mind that they were taking
their lives in their hands in order to take part.
“There were no signs or indicators to motorists that the cyclists were on the roads or that an event was taking place. I think that given the speed and the volume of traffic on the A50 that more needs to be done to increase safety, not just for cyclist but for any road users.
“It was a case that you happened upon the cyclists without any warning. While I support cycling as a sport, there is a question mark over whether the A50 is the road to do it on.
“There needs to be tougher standards from the people organising these events to address the questions over safety.
“If it had signs saying the cycling was taking place at the very least it would warn drivers as you are driving along and all of sudden there is a large group of cyclists. You are on them very quickly and some do wobble about and the drivers have to swerve to give them plenty of space.”
Nick Sharpe, national secretary of the Cycling Time Trials, said any cyclist can ride use the A50, day or night.
He said: “It is a road that any cyclist can ride along and it is lawful. We don’t often get a bad reaction but sometimes if drivers have to slow down from 80mph to 50mph they can be a bit aggrieved but it is not often to do with the trial but because it is a cyclist.
“Just because we have a number of people on their bikes they do not take up any more of the road and they are perfectly entitled to be there.
“We did notify the police that the ride was going to take place. I have ridden along that road myself and it is not like they have a group of cyclists, they all leave one-by-one so people would only have to overtake one individual at a time.”