Cycle races ‘pestering’ residents

Team GB riders in RipleySurrey has hosted a number of cycle races since the London 2012 Olympics

Residents feel “pestered” and “confined to their homes” by cycling events in Surrey, according to an online petition calling for the events to be scrapped.

The county’s roads have hosted a number of elite races and mass participation rides since the London 2012 Olympics.

The penultimate stage of the 2013 Tour of Britain, between Epsom and Guildford, starts on Saturday.

Surrey County Council said it did all it could to keep roads accessible and keep disruption to a minimum.

Details of rolling road closures have been sent to about 5,000 homes and businesses along the Surrey leg of the Tour of Britain cycle race.

The authority said it had also started a consultation into the future of cycling in the county.

The petition, which has been signed by about 1,200 people, states: “Apart from the obvious dangers to cyclists, Surrey roads are not suitable.

“Surrey County Council have, without consultation, decided it would be a great idea to use Surrey as a race track.

“The road closures were a necessary inconvenience during the Olympic Games but now it looks like Surrey County Council are to make this an annual event.

“This is all very well but residents of Surrey are pestered and annoyed by cyclists, practising months in advance of the event, who ride the route in very large numbers from very early in the morning shouting at each other.”

‘No respect’

It continues: “The route chosen is all enclosing and no provision has been made for vehicular crossing points. So to facilitate a bike ride many Surrey residents are to be confined to their homes from 5am until 9pm.

“Surrey County Council: Stop Surrey being turned into a cycle track.”

RideLondon cyclists in DorkingUp to 16,500 cyclists took part in a 100-mile race through Surrey and London in August

In August about 16,500 people took part in the RideLondon 100-mile cycle challenge through London and Surrey.

Hannah Nicholson, of Cranleigh, posted on the petition website: “Fed up with having roads where I live closed for people who don’t live here and have no respect for the car drivers, workers and families who do.

“We have now had enough of these pathetically organised all day road closures. Why have they not carried out rolling road closures like they do in France?”

“Okay, the Olympics was an exception and was brilliant. This now regular event is completely unreasonable to all inhabitants of Surrey and their businesses with many businesses suffering substantial loss of income,” said Howard Walden of Dorking who is also supporting the petition.

A spokesman for Surrey County Council said: “We do all we can to help keep our roads accessible, and work with cycling event organisers to keep disruption to a minimum.

“Last month we and Surrey Police launched the Cycle SMART campaign asking all road users to respect the highway code and each other.”

An online petition has also been created and signed by about 120 people.

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