Complaint over dangers of St Albans Verulamium Park charity cycle ride

Cyclists in the park during the Herts Cycle Challenge

Cyclists in the park during the Herts Cycle Challenge - Credit: Archant

SAFETY issues resulting from mass cycle rides in a St Albans park have been raised by a local campaigner.

Peter Wares was concerned when he saw a large number of cyclists riding through Verulamium Park during the Herts Cycle Challenge which took place 10 days ago.

He was concerned about the lack of posters or marshalls to warn other park users that a cycling event was taking place there.

Mr Wares said: “I was horrified to see numerous cyclists hurtling down the hill, most of whom seemed to be unaware that at the bottom there were young families with scooters and bicycles crossing the path on their way to the splash park or play area.

“The fact the path had a number of speed humps installed to moderate cyclist’s speeds were totally ineffective.”

Although the event, the Herts Cycle Challenge, was run by Rennie Grove Hospice Care, Mr Wares maintains that the district council should take steps to ensure that future organised cycle events through the park take account of other users.

He wants to see marshals in places where riders have to cross the path of other park users, A3-sized warning notices are put up at the park’s entrances and park wardens in radio contact with the marshals to assist in an event of accident or trouble.

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Ruth Barber, events organiser for Rennie Grove Hospice Care, said: “We are very sorry to hear that parts of the route of the new Herts Cycle Challenge in aid of Grove House have caused concern to visitors to Verulamium Park. Although we have spoken to Peter Wares personally, we are grateful for this opportunity to respond to the concerns he highlighted through the pages of the Herts Advertiser.

“The part of the route running through the park is a designated cycle path and we worked with the Safety Advisory Group at the St Albans District Council in order to have the entirety of the routes risk-assessed and approved.

“We also put up branded direction arrows along the cycle path in the park and ‘Caution Cyclists’ signs at the points where the route entered and exited the park. Marshals were also stationed at these points.”

Ruth added: “As this was the first time we have run the Cycle Challenge, we are very grateful for any feedback as it will help us improve the event in future. It is likely the route will bypass the park next year but if it should run through it again then we will ensure we station marshals within the park itself too.”