There are too many cycling events using Box Hill and too many reports of anti-social behaviour by riders. That was the message from residents of the area to local police and council representatives at a public meeting last week.
The meeting last Monday was organised by Box Hill Neighbourhood Council after the publication of a list of 19 weekend events scheduled to take place on the hill between April and November, reports the Leatherhead Advertiser's Jennifer Hardwick.
When asked if they saw the number of events being held on the hill to be "excessive", the meeting unanimously voted "yes".
Some residents claimed cyclists had urinated in their gardens, and they had been abused when they had asked riders to get out of the way.
Mole Valley's neighbourhood police commander, Inspector Richard Hamlin, told the meeting: "When I started here a lot of people said to me that I would have problems with cycling and I was quite sceptical and thought 'How bad can it be'?
"But within a few weeks I realised it is a serious problem.
"There are certain things that we can tackle: the verbal abuse, the threats of physical violence and the urinating in public. These are public order offences.
"I am quite pro-cycling in general but, of course, the antisocial behaviour is not acceptable."
Part of the road is owned by the National Trust. The NT's countryside manager for Box Hill, Andrew Wright said anyone organising a running or cycling event had to apply tim for a licence. The money raised goes back into maintaining the road.
He said the licensing system restricts the number of events, he doesn't allow two cycling events to run at the same time and almost all events are required to come through before midday.
He said: "The idea of that is that most people at the weekends are not up and out before 10 to 10.30am so that time limit reduces the conflict with cars."
The licensing arrangements also limits the number of riders in each event to a maximum of 2,500.
County councillor Hazel Watson (Dorking Hills, Lib Dem) said: "Surrey County Council has made representations to a House of Commons select committee to increase the regulation of cycling events.
"While certain events like the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 are regulated, not all of them are ever reported to the council or to police so we simply don't know about them."
The meeting ended with an agreement to open more dialogue between the National Trust, Surrey Police and residents.
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.