Bristol’s Biggest Bike Ride, a free UK event which was expected to attract around 8,000 cyclists, was cancelled yesterday following an accident on the route.
Organisers axed the ride before riders set off because of the closure of the A4 Portway road. A van had crashed, spilling diesel and glass across the carriageway and leaving a lighting column hanging over the road in danger of collapse.
The ride – which was in its 18th year and is one of the UK’s biggest free non-competitive cycling events – caters for riders of all abilities and offers four routes, differing in length from nine to 38 miles. Each ride was to go along the Portway, which is normally closed to motorised traffic for the duration of the event. But the clean-up operation and safety checks took until 2pm.
Councillor Jon Rogers, Bristol City Council's executive member for cycling, said: "Everyone was really disappointed. Over 5,500 people had registered to take part, and more were registering on the morning of the event.
"Today, we considered the possibility of rescheduling the event for later in the year. Bristol's Biggest Bike Ride is a major event that involves a huge amount of work and resources to ensure that it's safely and properly run for thousands of people to enjoy. It was concluded that logistically it isn't possible to reschedule for this year. However, we'll concentrate efforts on making next year's event even better.”