British Cycling have appointed a new police liaison officer as part of efforts to help safeguard the future of road racing in the UK. Inspector Bob Brayshaw, of West Yorkshire Police, has been tasked with improving relationships between race organisers and the authorities, and making sure that decisions made at a national level are implemented locally.
Brayshaw has a wealth of cycle race experience, having been in charge of policing and safety at the Tour of Britain. One of his first priorities as Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Liaison will be to review a pilot scheme which was trialled in Wales and Essex and allowed race marshals to stop and slow traffic.
Ian Drake, British Cycling’s chief executive, said “Good progress has been made over the past 18 months or so, but the appointment of Bob marks a step-change in British Cycling’s drive to further improve the situation for road race organisers and modernise the regulations under which road racing is managed. Having someone of Bob’s experience and standing dedication to liaising with police forces around the country can only benefit our work.
"Establishing productive relations with the police authorities is essential for the future of road racing, and in Bob we have someone leading the discussion who understands the needs and priorities of both the event organisers and the police. This should provide a fantastic foundation in terms of what we’re looking to achieve in this area over the next couple of years and we’re delighted to have him on board.”
British Cycling have been working hard over the past three years to reverse what had become a serious decline in many parts of the country in the staging of grassroots road racing. Together with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, ACPO, the Department for Transport and the Home Office, they've made progress. Work has centred on updating the outdated Cycle Racing on the Highways Regulations of 1960, and the issue of police charging.
Insp Brayshaw said: “The work to keep racing on the roads has gradually gathered momentum and everyone involved sees the need for a dedicated role to ensure that this continues. If we can achieve the necessary amendments to the legislation and resolve the issue with marshals we'll create a platform on which road racing in the UK can flourish for many years to come.”