On the cancellation of Midlothian Sprint Triathlon

I’ve got a whole bunch of things that I want to blog about, I seem to have got very behind.

I was supposed to be doing Midlothian Sprint triathlong in a week or two; and then I got the following email from the organisers:

“It is with great regret that we have to announce the cancellation of this year’s race. Entrants will receive a full refund minus their credit card transaction fees.Following a meeting on Friday 12th April at the request of the new police sergeant in charge of the Dalkeith area, the race organisers were informed that the cycle route was no longer acceptable, despite the safe and successful running of the event for many years. The particular concern is cyclists being allowed to cycle in a coned lane through red traffic lights, which happens through two sets of traffic lights on both laps. The sergeant highlighted an alternate route with 4 right turns on each lap, but would not recommend or endorse the alternative route in any way. In our opinion this course is not a viable option for such a large race.
Since the 12th April the race organisers have been working to come up with a safe course which is acceptable to the police. Unfortunately there is no alternative option and no agreement could be found. Triathlon Scotland has advised us that the original course is acceptable as long as cyclists obey the Highway Code and stop at all red lights (6 sets on each lap). We have decided that in the interests of safety and of having a fair race we cannot take this advice.
We fear that going ahead this year the race would quickly become a farce, lead to packs forming at the lights, ill-tempered motorists & cyclists and could be dangerous. We have been warned by the police that disobeying the highway code would be viewed seriously for both riders and race organisers.
The race organisers hope that cancelling the race this year will give us 12 months to work with the police to come up with a solution for next year.”

And so a person, who (as far as we know) knows nothing about triathon, or cycling, can cause an event, which has run without issue for many years, to be cancelled, because he has an issue with cyclists using a coned lane to bypass traffic lights. Even thought this has worked in the past.

So much for the olympic legacy, Edinburgh the World Class Cycling City, the promotion of sport. Yes, fine, we’ll give lip-service to all these things, but go and do it somewhere else, please. Don’t expect us to have a presumption in favour of this sort of thing going ahead, or anything like that.


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