Council refuses use of roads
UPDATE: In spite of last minute withdrawal of support for the use of council roads by LVRC due to safety concerns, the Ride the Range event scheduled for tomorrow morning will still go ahead.
Organising committee member, Shane Doyle said the committee met last night to discuss the concerns voiced by LVRC and have decided to go ahead with event but have adjusted the route, excluding Blanchview Road from the plans.
"We know that road was one of the ones Council had the most concern for," he said.
FRIDAY: Ride the Range organising committee member, Shane Doyle said the event has not yet been cancelled in spite of Lockyer Valley Regional Council (LVRC) withdrawing their permission for use of council roads earlier today.
Mr Doyle said the committee would meet later this afternoon, taking the information on council on board to decide on a course of action.
"We have liaised with LVRC and Toowoomba Regional Council for some time, along with Main Roads and the police and we have quite a comprehensive risk assessment plan," he said.
"We are meeting this afternoon to decide whether we are going to stick with the game plan or whether we need to make some adjustments.
"They did apologise for the late notice, but it's a shame that this has happened and it's all so last minute because we have people travelling all over South East Queensland.
"We have three police vehicles on the route and they are comfortable they can manage the situation and Main Roads have made Blanchview Road open to local traffic only on Sunday for the safety of our riders.
"Up until this afternoon we had permission from all authorities involved to go ahead with the event and I don't know what more we could have done."
Attempts were made to obtain further comment from Lockyer Valley Regional Council, but a spokesman notified the Gatton Star a response could not be provided in time.
FRIDAY: Lockyer Valley Regional Council has today advised that they have refused the use of Council roads for the 'Ride the Range' cycling event set to be held this Sunday due to concerns for participant safety.
Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones, said due to the current circumstances with the Toowoomba Range Crossing, it had no choice but to refuse the use of Council roads for the 'Ride the Range' bike event being organised by the Toowoomba Rotary Club.
"We hate having to say no to such a wonderful event but the fact is that due to the current road works on the Toowoomba Range, motorists, including heavy vehicles, are using Flagstone Creek and Blanchview Road, the exact route that was to be used by the cyclists," he said.
"With motorists desperate to avoid ridiculous delays getting up the Range, both roads are beyond capacity and coupled with sharp bends and blind corners, throw cyclists into that mix and somebody will get killed.
"You can't disrupt the major thoroughfare at the western end of the Lockyer Valley for more than 12 months without having carried out extensive consultation and having undertaken a traffic management study, yet DTMR has done none of these.
"Council has always openly encouraged sporting events to be held in the Lockyer Valley and would have supported the 'Ride the Range' bike event organised by Rotary, but unfortunately, lack of forward planning by DTMR has jeopardised the popular event," he said.
"Flagstone Creek and Blanchview Road weren't designed and certainly aren't at the standard needed to safely carry the amount of traffic that is currently using them as motorists avoid lengthy delays and our real fear is that adding cyclists to that already deadly mix could prove fatal.
"Council has written to race organisers outlining the reasons behind Councils refusal to support the event this year but have been advised that if the Police choose to allow the race to proceed, Council has no power to refuse the use of its roads on safety grounds," Cr Jones said.
The Star is currently seeking content from the event organisers.