Risk Assessment Guidance for Production and Maintenance

TT Risk Assessments are covered in Guidance Note 22,  This page provides futher advice on RAs for West District to provide some consistency of RA production and maintenance.

The new preferred RA Template for West DC is here.  Note that images of junctions should have the Google Street View (or equivalent) URL as a link.

Prior to your event you will need to check the RA date and update as necessary.  After your event you should confirm that no updates are needed to the Risk Assessement.  If an incident occurs during your event you should review the RA to determine if the RA requires amending in light of the incident.  Where you believe the RA is well out of date please update and send to the RA Secretary (Paul Winchcombe) for validation and re-upload.

For 2024 all RAs will need to be updated to include street view snapshots and links.  Please note that CTT are asking that RAs in future contain traffic count numbers. Traffic counts should be taken at the part of the course assessed as being the most heavily traffic.  Traffic counts should be sent to Paul Winchcombe (west-district-risk-assessment-secretary@googlegroups.com) so he can update course details.  Where courses have 20mph zones then a pedestrian count should also be taken.

If you are planning a new course you will need to folllow the guidance on Course Production.

Following the CTT Board Note on 20mph restrictions please pay particular attention in your assessment to any 20mph speed restrictions as CTT have said courses with 20mph zones may only be used when a District has approved an exceptions on a case by case base.  Information needed for 20mph exceptions is:

a. Length of restriction.
b. Existence of pavements (means less likely that pedestrians will step into the road).
c. General width of road affected.
d. Is restriction in place due to a school which would not be in use during your event.
e. Gradient which might mean that riders would struggle to exceed 20 mph.
f. Population of area (is often given in Wikipedia for villages/hamlets).
g. Are there any shops, pubs, amenities which might mean there is pedestrian traffic.
h. Traffic count (some of our courses are less than 30 units per hour so the likelihood of cars holding riders and riders being tempted into dangerous riding is low)
i. Pedestrian count in 20mph zone.
j. Any other factors which you think reduce the risk of an incident on your course - how long as the 20mph been in place for example.

As organisers we must do everything reasonable and practical to ensure rider safety and the Risk Assessment is part of that responsibility.

Can you define the levels of risk?
• LOW RISK: is where other road users would not be reasonably anticipated to impede the normal progress of competitors.
• MEDIUM RISK: is where other road users may impede progress, but where the consequences of such interference might be overcome by rider action alone.
• HIGH RISK: where rider action alone is not likely to reduce the risk to low

Unfortunately the level of risk is based on people's perception and has to take account of other road users actions, as well as our riders.  So the District Risk Assessments provide a minum level of guidance.  What does this mean?  The RA may say that an observer is optional but the event organiser may feel that one is required, that is the organisers call.  The RA does not require updating in this case but the event organiser should note the use of additional observers.

I can hear you saying "observer", I thought we had marshals.  The use of the term marshal has different meanings to different police forces and since we have no jurisdiction over traffic. The term observer better meets what our race officials are.  As an observer we can look out for dangerous riding and record any incidents that are "observed".  It is then quite clear that the race officials are not directing the riders (this is done through clear signage) and are DEFINATELY not indicating that the road is clear (or indicating to cars to slow down).  The observer is dressed in a high visibility jacket and their presence, in addition to cycle event signs, will alert other road users to the fact that an activity is taking place.  Observers should not be positioned without the use of Cycle Event warning signs at their location as well.

Actions which can be taken are defined in Guidance Note 22.  However, the guidance is not overly helpful for some instances of road conditions.  What is clear though is that Low Risk should need no mitigation, Medium Risk requires some form of mitigation (usually Cycle Event warning signs appropriately placed) and that High Risk probably requires the use of several sets of Cycle Event Warning signs and may require one or more observers.  I am not arguing against the statements in Guidance Note 22 but consider the views below.

RAB with clear lines of sight - no observers required

 RAB with good lines of sight


RAB with clear lines of sight and riders are approaching uphill, so are slowing - no observers required


Left Turn off a main road with a give way immediately on a triangle juction - riders have clear line of sight of oncoming traffic and should be able to slow - no observer required but could be deployed as an option


Many courses have a left turn onto a main road, where the main road has priority, and the turn is effectively blind to the rider approaching the turn. This type of turn should have an observer, as well as Cycle Event Warning signs.

These images are to allow discussion.  The placement of observers and Cycle Event warning signs must also be carefully considered, they must not confuse other road users or distract them but need to give sufficient warning of an event that other road users have time to react.

A topic for another day is the placement of directional arrows to guider riders. Certainly riders are expected to know the course but some courses can be confusing and riders may become distracted by other road users and race conditions.  Turns should be signed 25m prior to the turn as advance warning (if it is a fast approach) and immediately prior to the turn (as an "Executive Sign").  After the turn it can be useful to provide a confirmation arrow or use a Cycle Event warning sign which assists other road users and will confirm to the rider they are still on course.