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http://www.canberratimes.com.au/sport/c ... 22l0p.html
The Canberra Cycling Club (CCC) fears other events may be in jeopardy after Canberra's premier road race, the Canberra Tour, was cancelled because of ramped up safety restrictions imposed by ACT Policing and the Department of Territory and Municipal Services (TAMS).
ACT Policing and TAMS would not allow the September race to proceed unless three police escorts were provided for each of the seven cycling grades for the entirety of the three-day event.
CCC president Jason Parkes labelled the restrictions as ''overkill'', claiming the police escorts would have cost organisers up to $27,000 for an event that operates on a budget of just $40,000.
In a combined statement last night, ACT Policing and TAMS defended the decision and said the Tour comprised ''a complex series of road closures, and detours, which if not managed appropriately would present a significant risk to the public and participants''.
Advertisement Parkes is now seeking an urgent meeting with ACT Policing and TAMS, concerned the restrictions may affect other events such as the Tour De Femme scheduled for November.
''It [the Canberra Tour] is our major event,'' Parkes said. ''What worries me is it might go even further down to the local club races we have each weekend where they're going to get tough on that.
''The other concern is that we run another event, the Tour De Femme, that's a women's only participation event … depending on what the police are going to say when we have the meeting, that may be another event we're going to have to look at cancelling.''
This year's event was to be the 28th Canberra Tour and it has only been cancelled twice before. The first cancellation was in the wake of the 2003 bushfires.
The second cancellation was in 2008, the year after a female cyclist Jenny McKenna collided with a car during the event. McKenna remains confined to a wheelchair and the incident is subject to legal action.
Parkes said CCC had put safety precautions in place, including highly visible support vehicles at the front and rear of the riders. The club had also imposed 60km/h speed limits for traffic on any open roads.
Parkes said this year's event had already been postponed in May because bad weather had deteriorated road surfaces and organisers weren't prepared to risk rider safety.
''We have a lead car with flashing lights, then we've got a follow car with flashing lights and warnings and then we've got some spares vehicles for each grade that are behind them,'' Parkes said.
In their statement ACT Policing and TAMS said every event that required road closures was treated on a case-by-case basis.
''This commercial event required the closure of a significant number of public roads, including the Parliamentary Triangle,'' the statement said. ''Any use of public roads requires appropriate safeguards for all the participants and spectators. The safety of competitors is of paramount importance.''
It's understood ACT Policing was concerned that the Tour coincided with Floriade, which would have increased traffic, and that there was no risk assessment provided by organisers.
Parkes hopes the Tour will return in March or April next year. ''What worries me if you stop it one year the event may not start up again.''
How many people typically take part in The Canberra Tour?
Could the club not perhaps cough up half the $27,000 needed for traffic control, and collect the rest from participants' entry fees? $13,500 across even 100 riders is not that onerous for a major event, surely? Alternatively, is there potential funding from the sports or tourism portfolios? And are there sponsors involved?
While I gather the folks involved have explored their options and unfortunately still come up wanting, it seems a little surprising that a solution couldn't be found.
Didn't the Tour of Canberra have a major crash last year? Or did I get it mixed up?
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple
There were approx 350 starters in 2011. Entry fee was $110. Yes there were sponsers but I'm not aware of how much they contributed and not sure of the financial situation of the club either. I doubt Canberra Cycling Club would have a lazy $13K sitting in their bank acct though.
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