Concerns raised over return of road race to Olveston and Tockington
CONCERNS have been raised that an elite cycle race due to come through Olveston and Tockington will disrupt village life.
The Severn Bridge Road Race 2020 is set to be staged by the Bristol Road Club on a Sunday in March next year.
Resident Graham Clark is concerned and says more than 100 people have signed a petition he has raised at Olveston Post Office.
He said: “Eighty super-fit young men would race around ten laps through the village, effectively bringing the normal life of the village to a stop.”
The organisers of the race have offered to talk to Graham to discuss his concerns.
Graham has written to MP Luke Hall and the Avon & Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens
He says the village is extremely busy on a Sunday, with four churches holding services and people out horse riding, walking their dogs, and visiting their allotments. Walking groups come through the village as well as leisure cyclists who are using the Avon Cycle Way, and there is also traffic to and from the Severn Bridge.
He also believes there are safety issues at The Street, which is reduced to the width of one car by parked vehicles, and the junction of New Road and The Street, which has a blind bend.
Graham also says the pre-race risk assessment will "not quantify the disruption caused to villagers”.
The Severn Bridge Road Race takes place each year in early March. It will be the first time it has returned to Olveston since 2013, when a competitor was killed in a collision with a car in Vattingstone Lane, near the village.
Brian O’Kelly, from organisers the Bristol Road Club, has offered to talk to Graham about the race.
He said: “Bristol Road Club through British Cycling has submitted the risk assessment for the race to Avon and Somerset Police for their approval.”
The police say the risk assessment will be "fully scrutinised" before any approval is announced about 4-6 weeks before the event.
A police spokesperson said: “As far as we are aware there has only been one objection to the race and the concerns raised – and any others that are received – will be listened to by the organisers and the police, as the reviewing body.”
“This is a National B Road Race and will consist of cyclists who are considered “elite” and currently compete in major events. It may possibly include potential future Olympians and internationals. The race is organised at the highest level with the safety of those competing and the wider general public paramount.
“Concern has been expressed about a fatal accident, which had occurred in 2013. There is no evidence to suggest the route, the organiser/organisation or British Cycling played any part in contributing to this incident.”
Picture: Graham Clark on one of the roads which will form part of the road race course if it goes ahead next year.