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Barnet residents unhappy about re-routing of 2012 Games event

Residents of the London borough of Barnet are said to be “up in arms” after the 2012 Olympic road race was re-routed away from the area.

The UCI is said to have told the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) that a “review” of the original route was required as it was considered not challenging enough.

A similar situation arose with the original mountain bike venue two years ago when the UCI also deemed LOCOG’s preferred venue in Essex to be insufficiently challenging. There have been suggestions that the alternative course, unveiled this week elsewhere in Essex, is little better.

As for the road race course, in a letter to councillors, LOCOG suggested that the section of the course through Barnet failed to meet the UCI’s "technical requirements” and also cited Transport for London concerns over the impact holding the event there would have on the borough’s roads.

The course would have taken riders through the south of the borough, along the Bishops Avenue, in East Finchley - something that is now said by LOCOG to be not "technically feasible," according to the London Daily News.

Councillor Robert Rams, Barnet's cabinet member for customer access and partnerships, called the decision a "blow to not only the borough, but more importantly its residents who have contributed financially to the Games and are now being denied the chance to be involved," the News reports.

He said: "Many of the residents are up in arms about having to pay the money but they won't see any benefit to the borough, while people in Essex are not paying anything and are having the benefits right on their doorstep."