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Controversial charity ride arguments rumble on

A protest group called the Anti-Closed Road Events (Acre) group has written to the head of Tayside Police in anticipation of next week's Etape Caledonia sportive ride raising issues including riders 'stopping to urinate on the side of the road'.

According to Scotland's The Press & Journal Acre spokesman Peter Hounam, of Grandtully, Perthshire, where the event takes place, wrote to Chief Constable Justine Curran as part of the public consultation on road closures for the ride on Sunday 16th May.

Mr Hounam wrote: “Acre’s stance has been assiduously within the law and it has encouraged only legal means of protest.

“As such it has attracted considerable support from the locally affected communities and, in turn, has suffered abuse and threats from some supporters of the event.

“Our organisation believes that even though this event is now in its fourth year the issue of road closures is still a live one. In fact, the divisions and resentments continue and grow.”

The protest group spokesman detailed eight points of contention regarding the race, including the collection of litter left by participants and spectators along the route and issues surrounding cyclists stopping to urinate on the side of the road.

Acre has also highlighted alleged unsafe riding practices, as well as alleged offensive conduct of some cyclists and race marshals towards residents in the Kinloch Rannoch area.

Despite the widely reported incident last year, when local solicitor Alexander Grosset was accused of scattering carpet tacks along an extended section of the course causing hundreds of punctures, this forthcoming event already has 4,500 riders signed up and hoping to help raise £430,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

According to Jon Hazan, Event Director for IMG the organisers, “Over the last three years we have become familiar with Acre’s position on closed roads and other aspects of the event.

“We realise there remains a handful of local protesters who continue to raise objections.

“Safety is our primary concern, for the cyclists and residents. It would be highly dangerous to run this event on open roads and we will not compromise our stance on safety.

“We appreciate that road closures do cause some disruption to the local community. As a result we work throughout the year to ensure disruption of activities is kept to a minimum on the day.”

A police spokesman told the Press & Journal, "We received a letter from Acre and this has been forwarded to the inspector responsible for policing the area. He will be in contact with the group with a view to discussing matters further.”

11 comments

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therevokid [911 posts] 5 years ago
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one day, that's all it is .... ye gods what is the matter
with some people !

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Roadkill [43 posts] 5 years ago
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I think they've nailed it - open the roads and all littering and public urination will stop...

people will be nice to one another and safety will be restored...

It was right in front of our noses all the time...

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adscrim [136 posts] 5 years ago
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Not even, it's half a day the roads are closed for and even then the closures have a rolling element to them meaning no section is closed for more than 4 hours.

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handlebarcam [543 posts] 5 years ago
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People have been taking a whizz by the side of the road for centuries. I'm sure even Rabbie Burns, Rob Roy and William Wallace all, at one time or another, were caught short in the middle of nowhere and whipped it out. It is part of Scotland's proud heritage. They should put it on the Scottish ten pound note, although that might make it even less likely to be accepted by English shopkeepers.

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LondonCalling [149 posts] 5 years ago
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Bunch of tw@ts with nothing better to do! They don't like bikes, full stop. Nothing to do with road closures!  14

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mrchrispy [434 posts] 5 years ago
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 20

some people will always be idiots

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badbunny [71 posts] 5 years ago
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ridiculous! I am cycling this event for the first time this year - when I signed up I was totally unaware of the issues and only wanted to raise money for a worthwhile cause doing something I enjoy, now I am a little anxious tbh  2

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OldRidgeback [2554 posts] 5 years ago
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I wonder how many protestors there are out to spoil the fun, 10, 15, 20?

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TchmilFan [19 posts] 5 years ago
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Maybe ACRE can do something about those marathon thingies in Edinburgh/Glasgow/Bath/London or they could help johnny foreigner in Paris, maybe give some advice to the Yanks - crivvens the traffic's bad enough in New York, surely?

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nick_rearden [434 posts] 5 years ago
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Hey badbunny. Don't be anxious and have a good time. 99.99% of people are behind it and why not? Any endeavour that gets thousands of people cycling along in stretch Lycra is bound to arouse strange urges in a few but I wouldn't let it spoil your fun. Where I live they shut the middle of Bath for about 4 hours once a year for the half marathon and there are a few die-hards who insist on embarrassing themselves but what can you do? The rozzers will I'm sure do what they have to do, as nicely as they can.

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demoff [327 posts] 5 years ago
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Anything that impedes them driving their car 100 yards and they are off with their whining. Never mind the positive effect that the event will have on the local economy and that a charity is going to get a substantial chunk of cash.

Its the same with the National RR in Pendle big event going to bring a lot of people into the area all spending money.
They are whinging on because the roads are going to be closed for the day.