TODAY'S Chippenham Soap Box Derby has been cancelled.

In a statement the organisers said: "It is with regret that Chippenham Connected had to make the very difficult decision to cancel today’s Soap Box Derby. No event is ever cancelled lightly, and the organisers are as disappointed as the participants and spectators that the event couldn’t go ahead as planned."

Kathryn Crosweller of Chippenham Connected said: “A Soap Box Derby is a high-risk event. Due to tragic fatalities in Soap Box races in recent years, insurance conditions for the event have become more complex. It is a race, and we need to be more cautious on the safety of this event than any other event we run, which we have always persevered with even in heavy rainfall. We have to put safety at the forefront of every decision we take using the facts available to us at the time. We had been closely monitoring weather forecasts on multiple platforms from Friday 17th May until the early hours of Sunday morning. Based on the timeframes of event rig, safe delivery and set down, a decision had to be made early on Sunday morning and we were faced with warnings of heavy showers, thunderstorms, persistent and slow-moving rain across four major weather channels. In every event we deliver, the safety of everyone involved is paramount. Naturally we have vehicle checks and regulations around kart building, but there is no MOT or insurance for a Soap Box kart. The risk is far, far greater with a race of this type than normal events or motoring, and therefore more caution is demanded by health and safety, insurance and public protection standards."

“We appreciate the enthusiasm of everyone who spent time building their karts, and we are working with our suppliers and local authorities to reschedule the date later in the year. We are confident that the new date will be well supported by the public who have been disappointed today, and that they understand that our duty of care towards participants, spectators, volunteers, staff and contractors.”

The events Chippenham Connected produce in partnership with Chippenham Town Council are much-loved throughout the town. Other events coming up this year are Chippenham Carnival: Lost in Space on 13th July, Chippenham’s Summer Garden from 22nd – 31st August, Chippenham Steampunk Festival on 19th and 20th October and Chippenham’s Enchanted Christmas Big Light Switch-On on 23rd November.