Road closure price hike will not force Taunton 10k to be cancelled, say race bosses (From Somerset County Gazette)
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Road closure price hike will not force Taunton 10k to be cancelled, say race bosses
ORGANISERS of the Taunton 10k have reassured runners that this year’s race will go ahead – despite a hike in the cost of road closures.
Somerset County Council has taken on responsibility for road closures from district and borough councils and a new pricing structure has been implemented.
And bosses of the Taunton race – planned for Sunday, September 29 – made the reassurance after it emerged Ilminster Lions Club cancelled its 10k charity event because of the unexpected rise.
Asked if the hike would have any impact on this year’s Taunton 10k, race director John Lewis said: “No. I have applied for a road closure order as normal but next year may be different because the county council has taken over responsibility.
“My committee has not taken any decision to cancel and the county council is entitled to try to recover its costs.”
The Lions cancelled their annual event because the shift in responsibility meant race organisers would have to increase the entry fee for runners to cover the administration costs.
A club spokesman said: “The decision was taken because the club faced a significant increase in the cost of mounting the event through new charges being raised by the county council, which is now responsible for road closures, and health and safety issues.
“We decided it would be inappropriate to pass on these new costs to the runners in the form of an increase in the race entry fees and, with great reluctance, we have decided to cancel the 2013 race.”
The Taunton 10k starts and ends at Blackbrook Pavilion and sees hundreds of runners each year take to the streets.
A Somerset County Council spokesman said: “Road closures for sporting events such as these are dealt with under Special Events legislation where there is a need to make traffic orders and advertise the closures in the local press.
“We do not have a budget to pay for this and so have to pass these costs on to the event organiser. The council is continuing to look at possible ways to reduce costs and any savings will be passed on.”
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