Stakeholders should have input: Cycling boss believes associations should be consulted on road construction

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By Neto Baptiste

President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cycling Federation (ABCF), St Clair Williams, believes the body should have a say as to how the country’s roads are constructed and how much latitude is given to cyclists and others who utilises them for exercise and competition purposes.

“When they started the new road rehabilitation process, I let it be known that we should introduce bike lanes and not only bike lanes because we have people we do walking, running and during the day you would see them on the side of the road trying to keep fit or probably train for whatever race is coming up next so I think it is something we should look into,” he said.

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Andre Simon remains in serious condition at the country’s lone hospital following the May 8 accident.

“I know that in some parts of the country that because of the design and the limited space for the roads we know that we cannot get it at that point because it is too narrow but for some of the areas where we would have widened the roads I think some sort of compensation should have been put in place for bike lanes,” he added. 

His statement comes on the heels of a horrific Mother’s Day accident that left four of the country’s cyclists hospitalized. Three of the cyclists have since been discharged from the Sir Lester Bird Medical Center (SLMC).

Williams believes that with proper planning, a number of the country’s roads could accommodate bike lanes similar to the ones in other Caribbean countries.

“We have a race coming up on the 29th which is the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union Invitational Race and we have commitment from different countries around the Caribbean that normally would come to that race and so we did not want to put that off because they would have made their preparations and gotten funding and stuff like that. In addition, the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union have pledged their support to come back in board with this race again and this is their 55th year anniversary so it’s a 55 miles race that we’re putting on,” he said. 

The cycling boss revealed also that the body will return to competition on Sunday, marking their first competitive race since the May 8 incident.

“We went to Aruba in March where we participated in a three stage race over there and to get from one far end to the other far end of the country you could travel in bike lanes for 70 percent of the way and no on the main roads where you have to be in contact with traffic so I think it is something we need to look into here in Antigua when we’re developing and designing the road infrastructure,” Williams said.

Cyclists Tiziano Rosignoli, Ghere Coates and Sean Weathered have since been discharged from hospital following the accident while Andre Simon remains in serious condition at the country’s lone hospital.

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