Call for ban on racing on major roads

ONE of the Suffolk cycling scene's most well-known faces is calling for an end to racing on major trunk roads following the death of his friend on the A12 this week.

ONE of the Suffolk cycling scene's most well-known faces is calling for an end to racing on major trunk roads following the death of his friend on the A12 this week.

Jim Perrin, of Braintree, was killed while taking part in an open road time trial on the A12 on Monday . He was struck by a people carrier as he rode on the inside lane of the northbound carriageway near the Eight Ash Green junction, just outside Colchester at around 7.20am.

Mr Perrin, a father-of-two and a cyclist of 50 years' experience, is the second time-trial cyclist to die on the road in the space of six weeks. 64-year-old Colin Rodd, from Hockley, south Essex, was killed cycling near the A12's junction with the A120 on July 13.

Geoff Mayne, chairman of the Bungay-based Godric cycling club and former East Anglian champion, believes it is time things were changed: "Jim was a good friend of mine and it is extremely sad this has happened.


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"I personally don't think time trialling has any place on trunk roads at all. I used to race on them myself but I've packed it in now as I think they're just too dangerous."

Mr Mayne, 66, of Bungay, was knocked off his bike on the A143 several months ago and says that he thinks Suffolk and Norfolk possess some of the most dangerous roads he has ever ridden on.

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He added: "Time –trialling was my great love and I've ridden over 300,000 miles in my time but I feel no doubt we should be off major trunk roads, and the sport should do it now – not wait until they are banned."

Another Suffolk club, the Bury-based West Suffolk Wheelers, said they no longer organise races on busy roads like the A12 for safety reasons.

This latest accident has prompted renewed police calls for the sport to be banned from the A12.

Pc Jason Boots of Stanway's road policing unit said: "In my opinion, the A12 is far too busy to be cycling on – at any time.

"Over the years we have tried to have these trials banned, but we are not in a position to stop them."

Terry Andersen, honorary secretary to the London East branch of the sport's governing body Cycling Time Trials' Association and a friend of Mr Perrin, defended the sport against the police's criticism.

He said: "We deliberately organise these events for early Sunday mornings – or on a Bank Holiday – when we know the volume of traffic will be low.

"We always aim to get the bikes off the road by 9am. Up until six weeks ago we've only ever had one fatality on the A12 and now we've had two in a short space of time, but that doesn't mean they should be stopped."

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