Updated: Hull time trial road death: governing body defends the organisation of the race

Rider killed in collision with car towing caravan on the A63 - Police still want to hear from any witnesses

by Sarah Barth   April 1, 2013  

Broken bike (CC licensed image by garryknight, www.flickr.com)

Cycling Time Trials the governing body for the Hull City Road Club time trial in which a rider was killed on Good Friday has defended the organisation of the time trial, meanwhile Humberside Police have released further details of the incident.

While it was originally reported that rider who died, was hit by a car towing a caravan on the A63. However on Tuesday a Humberside Police Spokesman told the Hull Daily Mail that investigators now believed that Landrover Freelander and the caravan it was towing were stationary in lane one of the A63 when the cyclist rode in to the rear of the caravan.

Humberside Police have still not named the rider who was killed, describing him as a 65-year old from Selby, he was though well known in the time trialling community and tributes have been paid to him by other riders in forums and in the comments to reports of the incident.

Yesterday a spokesman for Cycling Time Trials, the national governing body which oversaw the Hull City Road Club event in which over 100 riders took part, told This Is Hull that the race was safe and well- organised.

He said: "An accident could happen to anyone riding along the road. It just so happened that this rider had a number of their back.

"There is always a very comprehensive risk assessment carried out before an event like this. Traffic flows are taken into account and the police are notified and have never raised any objections.

"There is a lot of organisation behind these events. There are a number of events like this held on the A63 and this is the first fatality there has been.

"It is not uncommon for time trials to be held on dual carriageways.

"When there is any accident or fatality, the board of Cycling Time Trials will obviously look at what had happened and take that into consideration for the future."

Some drivers had criticised the holding of the race on a busy main road.

One, who told This Is Hull he did not want to give his name, said: "It was a nightmare. Everyone was braking and pulling out to get around the cyclists.

"There was one tiny yellow sign saying 'cycle event' and I only came to that after I had come across three or four cyclists completely unaware.

"I had to pull out to go around them despite traffic passing me in the outer lane. I nearly hit one and I won't have been the only one.

"It was ridiculous to stage an event on such a busy road and on Good Friday with no proper warnings. I'm sorry to say it but I'm not surprised there was an accident."

Racing was abandoned following the incident, and the road was closed between Welton Road at Brough and the A1034 at South Cave while emergency services, including police collision investigators, attended the scene.

Good Friday's fatality came less than four weeks after 23-year-old Herbalife Leisure Lakes rider Junior Heffernan was killed during the Severn Bridge Road Race after colliding with a vehicle on a descent.

In recent years several cyclists have been killed while taking part in time trials on dual carriageways, including Karl Austin, hit from behind by a lorry on the A50 in Derbyshire in June 2011, Cathy Ward of Solihull Road Club, struck by a car on the A46 near Stratford-upon-Avon in August 2010, and Major Gareth Rhys Evans, who was hit by a car on the A1 near St Neots, Cambridgeshire, in May 2009 in all those cases the driver involved was found to be at fault and successfully prosecuted.

Humberside Police would like to speak to anyone who might have information that will help their enquiries about the incident on the A63, if you have information pleas call 101.

16 user comments

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"I had to pull out to go around them despite traffic passing me in the outer lane. I nearly hit one and I won't have been the only one.

How about using the pedal in the middle, or left if an automatic and slowing down if there is no space to the outside you halfwit!

Hamster's picture

posted by Hamster [93 posts]
1st April 2013 - 17:02


I get the impression that quote was made up to support Northcliffe's anti-cyclist agenda.

posted by thelimopit [126 posts]
1st April 2013 - 18:24


Totally agree with you, drivers should be aware and prepared to break or emergency stop at anytime!

posted by Olibobs [1 posts]
1st April 2013 - 19:17


witnessed some very poor driving skills a while back with a TT on the A19 on a holiday weekend - drivers in outside not giving space for slower vehicles to move out - late braking - dangerously close passing.

I would defend the "right" to run cycling events (and for families to safely cycle)on any public road but the reality is many drivers don't expect to see cyclists on dual carriageways and can't deal with it and despite driver protestations it is the vulnerable that get killed

My impression would be that if you asked people if it is legal to cycle on roads like the A63/A19 i think many would actually say no - they simply don't expect to see cyclists and don't know how to look for them in the traffic - add in holiday traffic (driver who only drive to work/shops maybe odd holiday trip) plus the screw you trend in recent years for outside lane drivers to exceed speed limit and never give way to vehicles wanting to moving out to give space the mix is more dangerous than ever

- not one to say ban - just better signage and some more publicity on what giving space to cyclists really means - "cycle event" means nothing to drivers wo don't know what to do other than carry on
possibly need those mobile matrix signs saying "slow" and "allow slower traffic to merge" "check twice before pulling back in" etc as well as much better education on what giving space means and the dangers of not allowing traffic from inside lane move out for "obstructions"

end of tirade a very sad death

antigee's picture

posted by antigee [258 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 1:20


"I had to pull out to go around them despite traffic passing me in the outer lane. I nearly hit one and I won't have been the only one."

Had to read this three or four times to find all the wrong things in these two sentences. Up to five so far.

posted by Argos74 [350 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 6:44


So much idiocy in those driver comments, however

"An accident could happen to anyone riding along the road"

Yes, but any normal person wouldn't cycle along that road, would they? People cycling locally would likely be using the strets through the town, long distance cyclists the NCN65/Transpennine Trail route mainly on side roads or (narrowish) cycle paths along the dual carriageway.

posted by Al__S [884 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 9:03

1 Like

Mindyou, I was riding on B and C roads yesterday. Utterly terrifying when you are confronted with cars taking the full racing line round blind corners, their suspension clearly bouncing off the limits.

posted by Al__S [884 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 9:06


Would anyone here own up to choosing to cycle along that road as part of a 'normal' ride? I certainly wouldn't and I consider myself a strong, experienced rider.

Bank holiday traffic, busy road, small fast moving objects, that combination can only be a recipe for disaster.

posted by thebungle [115 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 9:26


"I had to pull out to go around them despite traffic passing me in the outer lane. I nearly hit one and I won't have been the only one."

Where do you start with this statement? It shows up the sheer lack of understanding of basic road safety. It appears to be the prevalent view of the motorist. I am far from surprised that this person refused to be named.

posted by bendertherobot [575 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 9:26


"I had to pull out to go around them despite traffic passing me in the outer lane. I nearly hit one and I won't have been the only one."

The sheer lack of self-awareness from the driver in those few words sums up what is wrong with much UK driving. It's scary.


posted by Edgeley [242 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 9:29


How many more before CTT grows some courage and reviews every single course, removes the obsession with times (meaningless comparison leading to use of "fast" courses), and has a long hard and very self-critical look at safety. Perhaps the board want to, is it local "diehards" that are the problem?
The event on such a busy, Bank Holiday road that is almost a de facto motorway was simply putting riders in harms way. That's surely unacceptable? Comes back to who sanctions/issues permits for the event.


posted by doc [167 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 9:44

1 Like

If a TT is to be run on a dual carriageway then the police/authorities should reduce it to one lane for the duration of the event.

That way the traffic will keep flowing, riders will be safe and disruption will be kept to a minimum.

As an (occasional weekend) HGV driver attempting to deal with a TT safely is a nightmare, in the current format it is not surprise that a fatality has occured.

posted by thebungle [115 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 9:45

1 Like

latest from the Police rather changes things

Summary: caravan had stopped. Cyclist went into the back of it. Tragic- and by the sound of it, not the fault of the driver.

posted by Al__S [884 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 14:06


My condolences got out to the friends and family of the rider thy tragically lost his life....

As a motorist, motor cyclist, motorhome owner and now converting to riding the roads of the land rather than most of the non accessible country tracks, what has happened was an accident, choose however you look at it....

The world goes mad on health and safety, risk assessments, you shouldn't do this, you shouldn't do that, there's a law for this, there's a law for that.... At least with cycling the laws of the land, haven't got there claws into the freedom that we can enjoy....

As far a I know, there are only the motoways, we are not allowed on... it is the choice of an individual, to choose and plan his root or what event he wants to take part in... Lets hope this guy who lost his life, lost it enjoying something he enjoyed doing.... Rather than sitting in his arm chair, where he could have suffered an heart attack...


posted by Cliffhanger [1 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 20:17


for information, this course is very very popular amongst the time trialling fraternity:

it's the fastest time trial course in the country and generated the competition record last year for Michael Hutchinson (4th act Commonwealth games), taking Bradley Wiggins mark with a 17.45 for the 10 mile distance.

As such, it resolutely appeals as a 'banker', for the simple reason that if you ride it you'll likely set a new personal best time. It attracts the strongest riders in the country - so is a very long way away from being a 'local' event, consisting of 'diehards'.

But it does highlight the reckless fascination with fast times.

I've already posted my views on this tragedy. I do agree with the post above - under no circumstances, ever, would i ride this stretch of tarmac under 'normal' circumstances. i avoid the A4 to Bath and the A38 wherever practical. and yet, i rode this course twice last year. Never again.

posted by pj [149 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 21:23


I've got to agree with some of the comments above. Having grown up in the area I've done a LOT of miles around there and the A63 is not a place I'd ever choose to ride along the road. It leads onto the M62 and after leaving Hull city centre, it is part of what is effectively a motorway crossing the entire country. The fact that it's an A-road and therefore passable to bikes is not really as important to me as the fact that cars and lorries may be passing at 70mph (or above) and it's therefore really quite dangerous.

All that said, if the article is correct, the irony in this situation is that the speed of traffic there didn't cause the action, rather the lack of speed as the rider hit a stationary vehicle that allegedly had a puncture (there's no shoulder there). Sadly the same rules apply to bikes as cars; too fast to stop in the distance you can see is too fast, irrespective of the TT being ridden in.

posted by atlaz [175 posts]
3rd April 2013 - 10:56

1 Like