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Backlash over local news article that says angry drivers branded A50time trial riders "selfish"

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Old September 11th 20, 05:34 PM posted to uk.rec.cycling
Simon Mason[_6_]
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Default Backlash over local news article that says angry drivers branded A50time trial riders "selfish"

A road.cc reader has got in touch to accuse Derbyshire Live of "sensationalist reporting", after an article posted today (link is external) claims that angry drivers have branded time trial riders "selfish".

The 100 mile time trial in question took place on Saturday 5th September, and although the article refer to "drivers" in the plural and says that "many motorists have said they felt unsafe", all quotes are from one 22-year-old driver who took issue with the event.

Georgina Wager said: "I work in health and safety and I believe there is a high risk of injury when carrying out this event.

"One of the first questions has to be 'is it really necessary?'. If the answer to that is 'no', you can remove all risk by not carrying it out.

"No matter how careful drivers are, accidents can happen. At the weekend, multiple cyclists were doing time laps on a dual carriageway.

"I understand it is not illegal to cycle on a dual carriageway; however, that does not make it sensible. To those carrying out these time things - this is not a safe place to do so.

"Any time trial where you focus on speed as a priority (on a busy dual carriageway) is not safe, especially when you have no mirrors and have your head looking at nothing but the road. Next time, speak with the authorities and have roads closed, or even hire out the cycle area at Loughborough University.

"I really think it’s selfish. If a driver, regardless of fault, went into a cyclist because a cyclist wasn’t visible or was a split second too late braking on a 70mph road, it could ruin many people's lives in a blink of an eye. Legal or not, engage your brains."

The article states that it is believed the cyclists were taking part in "a 25-mile route", when it was in fact the Burton and District 100 mile time trial (link is external) organised by South Pennine Road Club.

On Facebook, one commenter criticised the article for "stirring up anger and aggression" while another that time trials have been an institution on British roads for decades; however, some noted that the road is notorious for being dangerous for cyclists and drivers.

road.cc have reported on two fatal incidents involving time trial riders on the A50 in Derbyshire - in 2012, lorry driver Michael Bray pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving after killing 47-year-old Karl Austin the previous year. In 2017, 72-year-old John Stewart was killed while taking part in his club's 10 mile time trial on the A50 after being hit by John Barnes. Barnes was speeding and had been on his phone for 30 minutes before the collision, and was jailed for three years (link is external) for causing death by dangerous driving.


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