Surrey welcomes Prudential RideLondon 2014 route changes

Pro race route revisions mean many roads reopen 3 hours earlier than in 2013

by Simon_MacMichael   March 27, 2014  

Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 medals (copyright Simon MacMichael)

Surrey County Council has welcomed changes to the routes used in August’s Prudential RideLondon Festival that mean many local roads will be reopened up to three hours earlier than during last year’s inaugural event.

The council says that the amndements reflect feedback to the organisers both from itself and from local residents following the first editions last August of the sportive and professional race that take the event out of the capital and into Surrey.

Last week, organisers of the event, the London & Surrey Cycling Partnership, said that the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 mass participation ride, which up to 30,000 people will ride, will follow largely the same route as last year.

However, the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic race later on Sunday  10 August will take a slightly different course through the county. Those changes include a new route via Staple Lane from East Clandon, multiple loops through Dorking, two climbs through the Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking and retracing the 2012 Olympic road race route through Oxshott.

By reducing the overlap between the two routes, and riders taking part in the sportive due back into Central London well before the professionals, it will be possible for half of the roads affected in the county to be reopened as much as three hours earlier than last year.

Helyn Clack, Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for community services, commented: “We’re pleased the event organisers have been able to incorporate our suggestions into the improved delivery of the event and done even more to limit disruption to residents and businesses well ahead of this year’s events.

“If last year is anything to go by, this year’s Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic and 100 events will be a shot in the arm for local shops, cafes and pubs along the route, and the loop around Dorking is an exciting new feature.”

Following the inaugural edition last year, Surrey businessman Ian Huggins launched a petition called ‘Stop Surrey being turned into a cycle track,’ reflecting the views of some locals who are unhappy at road closures associated with the event.

Earlier this year, organisers of the Vachery Triathlon, another event that made its debut in Surrey last year, claiming that new procedures introduced by the council were too onerous, and perhaps reflected “the anti open-road cycling furore from local politicians and protesters experienced last year.”

Surrey County Council says that there will be greater public information around the Prudential RideLondon events this year, including leaflet drops to residents and businesses by the organisers, and six drop-in sessions at different locations where people can seek advice regarding the event.

Elsewhere on the route, however, some business owners in South West London are unhappy about the event’s return.

Domenico Bolla, who owns Wimbledon’s Victorian Café, told local news website SW Londoner: “I just shut for the weekend as there's no point in me opening. Nobody can cross the road so nobody can get to my shop.

“There's no need for the barriers really, one steward would be enough to control people crossing the street.

“There are only short spells of constant flow of bikes, most of the time there are very few or none at all passing through - yet this costs us a whole weekend of business. I find it silly to shut such a long stretch of road.”

Another local businessman, Krishn Kataria, of Worple News in Wimbledon, said: “This event is very bad for us. There is no business at all as they block everything.

“The rents are extremely high in this area so we lose a lot that weekend. We open anyway, but what can we do?”

But event director Hugh Brasher, whose father Chris founded the London Marathon, which together with SweetSpot organises the Prudential RideLondon weekend, said the event would be boost London’s profile

“We want London communities to benefit over 365 days a year, so we are looking at the whole picture and not just one weekend,” he explained.

“We are working with the local councils and encouraging as many people as possible to come and watch, so we get the same kind of street party atmosphere we saw at the Olympic Games. This is a London 2012 legacy event.

“We want this growth of visitors to London to continue, which will help people all over the city” he added. “We are looking to turn this into the biggest and best cycling event in the world.”

9 user comments

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"You can't please all the people all the time" no doubt the fun police will be harping on about something.

cidermart's picture

posted by cidermart [467 posts]
27th March 2014 - 8:49

18 Likes

I don't understand how a cafe and a newsagent along the route claim it can be bad for business?

I sat in a cafe in Kingston last year right next to the route, and it was crazy-busy all day with people sat watching the riders and eating cake (like me).

posted by MrGear [85 posts]
27th March 2014 - 11:52

22 Likes

*yawns*

posted by northstar [1107 posts]
27th March 2014 - 12:09

8 Likes

Quote “There's no need for the barriers really, one steward would be enough to control people crossing the street."

I marshalled at the Tour of Britain last year. There were 3 stewards and two marshalls working the circuit crossing I was on. It took all our time to stop people wandering across the circuit in the 5-10 minutes it was completely closed when the riders came through. God knows what the carnage would be like with riders coming through for hours.

Did Nightrider 2013 and 2014 for Parkinson's UK. Might just have one last go in 2015.

jova54's picture

posted by jova54 [627 posts]
27th March 2014 - 12:17

13 Likes

On the Epsom stage of the ToB it wasn't barriered in the centre of town where we were. Problem wasn't the crowd, who were well-behaved, but the effing idiot in a 4x4 whio decides she can't wait the extra few minutes for things to clear and drives out onto the road a short way up from a blind corner - about a minute later the peloton came through (admittedly at a kinda parade-like pace).

posted by JonD [189 posts]
27th March 2014 - 14:25

4 Likes

I do wonder about the business acumen of people who close their business on a day when there are far more people in the vicinity than there otherwise would be.

posted by dp24 [193 posts]
27th March 2014 - 14:25

4 Likes

dp24 wrote:
I do wonder about the business acumen of people who close their business on a day when there are far more people in the vicinity than there otherwise would be.

From the photo I've seen that Victorian Cafe looks like it could do with shutting full time.

But if I was a business owner round there I'd be rubbing myself bandy about other businesses shutting for the weekend, stick a couple of signs in the window proclaiming "Cyclists welcome", "Surrey Classic Specials" "free water refills for riders", sit back and coin it in.

posted by farrell [1513 posts]
27th March 2014 - 14:33

4 Likes

By the holy chinos of Boden. Surely you must respect that Surrey is for Surrey dwellers only, not for lycra clad riff raff. Why only the other day so i saw a club run stop in the middle of Epsom high street, happy slap a wealthy OAP, then poured high 5 into her eyeballs until she handed over her Prada walking stick ....disgusted me to the soles of my hunter clad feet. I had to sit down and have 2 chai lates with Bunty to recover.

'It's the closest you can get to flying'
Robin Williams response when asked why he enjoyed riding so much

posted by Simmo72 [346 posts]
27th March 2014 - 18:25

6 Likes

Simmo72 wrote:
By the holy chinos of Boden. Surely you must respect that Surrey is for Surrey dwellers only, not for lycra clad riff raff. Why only the other day so i saw a club run stop in the middle of Epsom high street, happy slap a wealthy OAP, then poured high 5 into her eyeballs until she handed over her Prada walking stick ....disgusted me to the soles of my hunter clad feet. I had to sit down and have 2 chai lates with Bunty to recover.

I rarely (virtually never) post comments, but well done sir, this really made me chuckle!

posted by jamesv [6 posts]
27th March 2014 - 19:50

2 Likes