The future of UK road racing has been boosted by the appointment of Inspector Bob Brayshaw as Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Liason to British Cycling.
Inspector Brayshaw, previously in charge of policing and safety at the Tour of Britain, has been seconded from his current role at West Yorkshire Police for two years and started working for British Cycling at the end of April.
Grassroots road racing has fallen into decline, with British Cycling fighting for the past three years to ressurect a key area of the sport, working with ACPO, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Department for Transport and the Home Office.
Those partnerships have led to an agreement that the current Cycle Racing on the Highway Regulations, established in 1960, need updating, while 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.
Furthermore, a successful pilot allowing marshals to stop and slow traffic has been running in Wales and Essex, with an alternative sign-based approach to be piloted in the summer
“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,” said British Cycling chief executive Ian Drake.
“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 will first 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.
He will then lead the charge on the amendments needed to modernise the current legislation and make them more relevant to today’s racing scene.
“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,” said Inspector Brayshaw.
“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.”
Keep up-to-date with British Cycling’s work to Keep Racing on the Roads through its dedicated Facebook site.