Cycle time trials returning to A12

IMPROVED safety measures and road conditions have prompted a return to cycle time trials on the A12, a cycling organiser has confirmed.The first event will be held three years after early morning trials on the A12 in Essex were suspended because of two fatal accidents on the road within the space of six weeks.

By Roddy Ashworth

IMPROVED safety measures and road conditions have prompted a return to cycle time trials on the A12, a cycling organiser has confirmed.

The first event will be held three years after early morning trials on the A12 in Essex were suspended because of two fatal accidents on the road within the space of six weeks.

Terry Anderson, district secretary of Cycling Time Trials for the Essex and South Cambridgeshire areas, said a trial would be held in August by south Essex-based group PCA Ciclos Uno.

In August 2003 Jim Perrin, a member of PCA Ciclos Uno, died when he was involved in a collision with a Kia car on a three-lane stretch of the A12 near Eight Ash Green.

The 66-year-old Braintree man's death came six weeks after Colin Rodd, 64, from Hockley, was killed when he was involved in a collision with a taxi minibus.

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Mr Rodd, who had been taking part in a 30-minute time trial with the Lee Road Club, died at the scene of the accident near the junction of the A12 and A120 at Marks Tey.

Both drivers involved in the accidents were convicted of careless driving.

Mr Anderson, who had been a close friend of Mr Perrin, said yesterday he believed circumstances had changed enough to justify a return to the road.

“Since 2003 the sport has greatly moved on. We now do formalised risk assessments on courses.

“We have also agreed with the Department for Transport a design for a warning sign.”

Mr Anderson explained that signs would be placed at the side of the carriageway near slip roads and roundabouts.

He added that fewer cyclists would be taking part - 90 as opposed to 150 - and only a ten-mile stretch, between Feering and Stanway, would be used.

The trials would also start an hour earlier than before, at 6am, and all the trials would have finished by 8am. The first trials since 2003 will take place on Sunday August 20.

“I started cycle trials when I was 15 and I raced on the A12 for 50 years, and we never had a fatal or serious accident in that time. Then suddenly there were two in six weeks,” said Mr Anderson.

“Dual carriageways should actually be safer than single carriageways because they are straight and wide.

“The road between Feering and Marks Tey has also been substantially improved - it is wider and the surface is better.

“I am confident the course is as safe as we can make it,” he added.

roddy.ashworth@eadt.co.uk

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