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Guildford Town Centre Races set to go ahead as council addresses safety fears

Temporary works to be carried out to new kerbs that posed risk to competitors

Fears that this year’s Guildford Town Centre Race would have to be cancelled on safety grounds due to the condition of the road surface have receded after Surrey County Council pledged to make repairs ahead of the event on 9 July.

The race, organised by Charlotteville Cycling Club, has been held in the county town since 1984, but a raised kerb due to resurfacing works on Market Street, the fastest part of the circuit, put the event at risk due to concerns over riders’ safety.

Earlier this month, organiser Jon Lewis urged the council to take steps to remedy the problem and even threatened to "go down to B&Q and buy some cement and do it myself", reports Get Surrey.

He now says that after discussions with council staff and a regional competitions administrator, the event is set to go ahead with Surrey County Council due to lay a temporary surface to make the slope on Market Street longer and less hazardous for competitors.

A spokesman for the council told Get Surrey:“New tarmac will be laid at the edge of new kerbs onto the road, at the junction of Market Street and North Street, enabling cyclists to turn into Market Street from North Street during the race without any issues.”

Mr Lewis told the website: “This is great news because this is a very popular event and it would be awful if it couldn’t go ahead for any reason.

“One of the important things is that once you get momentum up with an event you can keep it going.

“But when something like this, which takes a lot of manpower and hours to organise, falls through, it is very difficult to get it going again.

“There is an economy of infrastructure and it is important to maintain that and ensure that people keep coming to this great event.

“I am just delighted that the council has taken decisive action on this and acted so quickly.

“Ordinarily things like this take a long time, but the council has reacted very well and we are really grateful.”

He added that organisers would continue to liaise with the council regarding the future of the event due to the impact of the redevelopment of the town’s North Street.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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