Letter: Organisation of race seemed like a shambles to me

Who was responsible for the shambles that was the Tour of Britain Cycle Race on September 9 in the Cat and Fiddle area?

Friday, 17th September 2021, 10:00 am

At the point where the Old Buxton Road joins the A537 Cat and Fiddle Road it was chaos.

The police were in attendance but had allowed spectators to abandon their cars on either side of the A537, which restricted traffic flow.

The spectators overlooking the checkpoint just below the junction were wandering freely over the carriageway.

One reader is angry at the traffic chaos caused at the Tour of Britain cycle race recently.

The police stopped the north/southbound traffic on A537 but permitted traffic and presumably cyclists to come out of the Old Buxton Road and it wasn’t long before a car towing a caravan was trapped by the Buxton Macclesfield bus, who was in turn caught in the narrow gap between cars abandoned at the roadside.

This was all exacerbated by the growing line of quarry trucks in both directions that were also now caught up in the shambles.

I got out of my car and asked the policeman if we were going to be let through and his answer was that I can either sit and wait for at least 20 minutes or do a u-turn (verges we’re blocked by abandoned cars - so nobody was going anywhere).

Eventually when the traffic backed up and blocked the Old Buxton Road itself (therefore impeding the race I assume) the police motorcyclist in nominal control of the junction released the northbound traffic to clear the part of the mayhem I was caught up in and I assume the bus behind me managed to get free, but I lost sight of it in my rear view mirror.

I continued on the Cat and Fiddle only to see every layby and gateway full of cars, deckchairs and spectators with cameras. Later as we approached Macc, we were overtaken by two police motorcyclists who then stopped all traffic heading towards the Cat and Fiddle at the junction with Fence Avenue. We got through and cleared off quickly towards our appointment in Plumley.

It was only at this point that we noticed the occasional pink arrows and yellow signs cable tied to some lamp-posts we stopped at one to read it - we had to do because the font was so small it was otherwise unintelligible!

It was only when I got home and googled the details that I found out what the event was. Have I missed something or been ignored as a non-Facebook user/non-cycling magazine reader?

Where was the prior warning? Why was the Cat and Fiddle not shut and all traffic diverted? Why were logistics companies and bus companies not forewarned? Surely they can’t have been, otherwise they would have found alternative routes. Why were hundreds of people allowed to abandon their cars on the grass verges and roads? Why were the road signs so totally useless?

Can I suggest the organisers of this event and the people policing it be held accountable by the press to prevent this shambles being repeated.

R Stubbs

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