New legislation has been introduced in Northern Ireland pertaining to the management of cycling events. The legislative change provides accredited marshals with the legal right to stop traffic at a cycling event taking place on open roads.

The legislation follows a period of engagement between Cycling Ireland, the National Governing Body for cycling on the island of Ireland, Cycling Ulster, the provincial body, the PSNI and the Department for Infrastructure. The changes were implemented to ensure cycling events could continue to take place in a safe manner across the region, benefiting communities through improved health and wellbeing and delivering economic benefits.

A new marshal accreditation course is being operated by Cycling Ireland with the support of the PSNI and Department of Infrastructure.  The course is accredited through LANTRA; a training and compliance group which is accredited by the British Standards Institute.

Several marshal accreditation courses have already taken place and further courses are being held to meet demand.

Cycling Ireland CEO, Matt McKerrow, said

“The support of the PSNI and Department of Infrastructure is greatly appreciated and is vital in allowing cycling events continue to operate safely in Northern Ireland while respecting local communities.

Volunteers who complete the accredited marshal course will have the legal right to stop traffic at cycling events but will also benefit from having event management and health and safety training. We look forward to working closely with the PSNI to deliver safe and enjoyable events for all ages and abilities.”

Cycling Ulster Chairperson, Tommy McCague, said:

“Cycling Ulster are delighted to see the introduction of the Accredited Marshal Scheme which will provide marshals with the power to stop traffic at our events. The scheme will help improve the safety of our events taking place on the road. These new powers for accredited marshals will enable us to be more self-efficient and ensure the long-term sustainability of our events. 

While the use of accredited marshals is currently being phased in to our events, I would encourage our clubs and members to register for the courses available this year that are being funded by Cycling Ireland. There was a great amount of work that went into this by Rosie Leech from the PSNI along with Stephen Burns and Garry Nugent who co-ordinated the delivery of the scheme.

I want to thank the PSNI and the Department for Infrastructure for working with Cycling Ulster and Cycling Ireland on this initiative and bring it to fruition.”

PSNI Roads Policing Inspector, Gary Irvine, said:

“The aim of the Accredited Marshal Scheme is to provide a safe, sustainable and effective method of traffic management at road race events. We are pleased to have been able to support this initiative.”