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Anger and confusion ahead of this weekend's event...

You might think that having an Olympic event take place at the end of your street would be cause for celebration, with the world’s attention being focused on your neighbourhood for a couple of days something to feel excited about. However, some residents close to Hadleigh Farm in Essex, where the mountain biking medals will be decided, are reportedly up in arms over parking restrictions.

This Sunday sees the venue host its Olympic test event,which organisers expect will attract 4,000 fans, and street closures and bans on parking have not gone down well among some of those living nearby, reports local newspaper, the Echo.

Among the traffic management measures put in place are a no-parking red zone, no on-street parking, and redirection of one-way streets, with those ignoring the rules facing a £70 fine or having their car towed away.

“It’s incredibly heavy-handed,” complained Andrea Gabriel of Chapel Lane. “It’s like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. What on earth are they expecting to happen?

“We moved to Castle Lane because it’s one road to a tiny farm and it has now turned into the centre of the world.”

Another, Bob Gosling from Beech Road, told the newspaper that in his opinion a letter from Essex County Council outlining restrictions had added to the confusion.

“It recommends that ‘wherever possible’ we avoid using our vehicles,” he said. “What does that mean? Either the road is closed or it’s not.

“It’s pretty farcical to be honest. If it’s so complicated this time, what’s it going to be like when the Olympics take place?”

A drop-in session will be staged at Hadleigh Old Fire Station on Saturday between 10am and 4pm to explain road closures and restrictions on parking to locals who are still unsure how the measures will affect them.
 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

5 comments

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mr-andrew [300 posts] 6 years ago
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Maybe if they got off their fat arses and tried walking or cycling instead of relying on their cars....

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the-yorkshire-p... [173 posts] 6 years ago
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mr-andrew wrote:

Maybe if they got off their fat arses and tried walking or cycling instead of relying on their cars....

Maybe they had no desire for the olympics and are having this forced upon them with no recourse, due to anothers fancy?

Just because you're a cyclist it doesn't mean they are or should be. If anything, this sort of restriction is likely to further reinforce any negative perceptions of the sport.

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bikeandy61 [538 posts] 6 years ago
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This is at least the second time that the restrictions imposed by the Olympics have been on here. Once (and I had a go at him) was from a guy who had tickets for the games but was moaning that there are to be travel issues/restrictions. I do feel sorry for the people who have zero interest in the games having these and probably more others to come, foisted on them. But not for people who will be attending but don't want to be put out by it. But isn't that the way with us humans? Everythings great as long as I like it/it benefits me.

Have to laugh at the statement about getting excited that the world will be all looking at your street and why can't you get excited by it? Why should they and what benefit will there be to any street/road/area "featured" in the games? The audience are only interested in the event. It's the same as Phil Liggett getting excited on TV on Sat, "Cadel is riding his heart out now to be the 1st Australian to win the Tour". No he wasn't, he was doing it all for himself. He'll feel proud now to be the first Ozzy, but I am certain it never entered his mind during the TT.

I still say we should have sold the Games to the French when we won the bid, and trousered the cash!

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Coleman [334 posts] 6 years ago
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Miserable sods.

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kace19 [23 posts] 6 years ago
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I grew up in Hadleigh and my relatives still live there. Just wanted to say that this seems to be a vocal minority. Like the Etape Caledonia, most locals have no problem making alternative transport arrangements for a single day, and are interested in the event. Of course, a few grouchs are always more newsworthy though!