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Highways England decides against banning cyclists from UK’s fastest time trial course

Cycling UK welcomes a ‘victory for common sense’

Highways England has withdrawn a proposed ban on cycling on the A63 near Hull after Cycling UK delivered nearly 10,000 letters protesting the plan.

The A63 Trunk Road forms part of the V718 course on which Marcin Bialoblocki set the 10-mile time trial record of 16m35s in 2016, but earlier this year Highways England was proposed a Traffic Regulation Order to ban cyclists.

A ‘statement of reasons’ cited the high speed of vehicular traffic as well as six collisions involving cyclists, including one fatality.

In 2013, Christopher Auker, riding in a time trial, died following a collision with a stationary caravan. A coroner’s court returned a finding of accidental death.

His widow Elizabeth said: “Neither Chris nor I had any worries about this course – we both felt time-trials were safer on a dual carriageway where there is room for traffic to overtake. This was a freak accident that could not have been foreseen and nothing to do with the time-trial course.”

Cycling UK were concerned that a ban would set a dangerous precedent and delivered 9,500 letters of protest to Highways England’s headquarters in Leeds (by cargo bike).

The charity’s head of campaigns, Duncan Dollimore said: “We have been fighting for 140 years for the rights of cyclists, and we couldn’t let Highways England impose a ban when there was no real basis or justification.

“One of the arguments put forward was that cyclists couldn’t keep up with traffic, but on that basis they would have been banning cyclists on every A-road and many sections of B-road across the country.

“I’m delighted that common sense has prevailed and pleased that Highways England listened to our arguments.

“I’d like to thank all our supporters who took time to take part in the campaign and respond during the consultation period.”

A spokesperson for Highways England said it was now developing cycling and safety improvements for the road.

“We want people using our roads to be safe and alongside Humberside Police were particularly concerned about how safe cyclists would be with increasing volumes of fast moving traffic on the A63 between North Cave and Hull.

“We’re really grateful to everyone who commented on our proposed ban, especially from cyclists themselves.

“We are already developing more cycling and safety improvements for the A63 and in the meantime we urge all road users to use this route safely.”

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