Unfortunately we have have been asked by British Cycling to cancel the Margaret Wright Memorial Road Races planned for the 15th August.
This is because we have been unable to find the necessary Accredited Marshals who are needed to run the races safely. Accredited Marshals (like all officials who support cycle racing in the UK) are trained volunteers and Central Region relies on their goodwill and time to support events so that you as riders you can race!
The reason for this shortage is that a number of volunteers have decided not to continue, post COVID, and that the demand on the smaller pool has increased because more events have been scheduled for later on in the year, again due to the pandemic restrictions.
Road Racing is permitted on the highway by virtue of the Cycling on the Highways Act. For planned events the Chief Constable of the region issues a permit based upon a course risk assessment. This states how many Accredited Marshals must be used and how the signage is to be deployed. We have to run the race according to these requirements. We cannot use more red flag marshals as a substitute for Accredited Marshals.
Our event needed 16 marshals and currently we have only half of those. Mark Doel as Central Regions Events Officer for BC has been working with colleagues in other regions to source Marshals from across the country. But for our weekend each of the other regions have their own events and are struggling themselves.
We have been formally informed of the shortage of Accredited Marshals and British Cycling confirmed that there was no alternative but to cancel the event.
Of course, everyone accepted to race will be given a full refund and those who have pending applications will be rejected without being charged,