A NEW charity event in Hampshire has been cancelled following a fatal accident at a similar fundraiser in another part of the south.

Up to 750 bikers had been expected to embark on a 50-mile ride in aid of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA).

Hampshire Ride4Life was devised following a similar event on the Isle of Wight which raised more than £5,000 for the life-saving service.

The new ride would have seen bikers travel from the air ambulance base at Thruxton, near Andover, to the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum in New Milton on September 16.

Now HIOWAA announced that Hampshire Ride4Life had been cancelled.

It comes after a biker taking part in the annual Devon Air Ambulance Motorcycle Ride Out last month was killed in a three-vehicle crash.

A HIOWAA spokesman said: “We have taken further advice from experts who have many years of experience in the field of motorcycle ride-outs and felt more time to assess the route would be necessary to ensure the safety of our riders.“Safety is at the heart of what we do and we would rather take time and be certain than risk anyone’s safety.”

In a statement announcing the cancellation HIOWAA had earlier issued

The statement said:

“Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance place the safety and wellbeing of our supporters at the forefront of everything we do.

“We always ensure that we complete due diligence when undertaking any events and that we thoroughly consider any information that indicates that an activity may be high-risk.

“To this end we have taken the decision to cancel the Ride4Life Hampshire following consultation with our partner organisations, especially those who help us operate and monitor the safety of our Ride Out events.

“We appreciate that this will

disappoint some of our supporters.

“But we are sure you will appreciate that your safety and that of the bikers around you has to be our primary concern.”

It comes less than a week after HIOWAA issued a previous statement promoting the event and inviting motorcyclists to take part.

HIOWAA’s chief executive, Alex Lochrane, said in the statement: “This is a fantastic way for bikers to do their bit to help keep the air ambulance flying and saving lives.”

The charity says it hopes that a Hampshire Ride4Life event will take place next year.