A LONG-RUNNING tradition in Haydon Bridge won’t take place this year due to concerns about road safety.

The annual wheelbarrow race has drawn huge crowds on Easter Monday for more than 40 years, but organisers say the parking situation on Ratcliffe Road means the route is now too dangerous.

The chairman of Haydonian Social Club, Jim Carruthers, explained the decision to cancel the popular event.

He said: “We did a risk assessment and we found that the traffic congestion on Ratcliffe Road is too unsafe.

“We don’t want to put anyone’s life at risk, and we would be liable if someone was hurt.

“It wouldn’t be an option to close the road. We wouldn’t put that money forward. The club already pays out some big prizes for the race.”

A consultation is currently under way for a solution to the problems on Ratcliffe Road, which has been an issue in the village since road markings were removed last year.

And Jim added that the race may return in the future if the road safety concerns are alleviated.

He continued: “We hope it will come back, but we will just have to wait and see.

“We have to look after the club. If we ran it and someone got hurt we could be liable.

“If the council gets things sorted out to what we think is a safe environment, the race could come back.”