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.