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Consultation begins on Velothon Wales road closures

Welsh government believes event will put Wales on the map for tourism, but councillor claims there is ‘nothing to gain’

With over 15,000 cyclists set to ride the Velothon Wales sportive, Caerphilly Council are asking residents for their views on the proposed road closures, reports the South Wales Argus. Organisers say the route needs to be completely closed to traffic, but cabinet members last month voted in favour of further public consultation.

The June 14 sportive precedes a UCI-sanctioned road race which will take place on the same roads. Routes were announced last month and it is anticipated that certain roads will be closed for nine hours or more.

A Caerphilly council spokeswoman said: “The scale of the road closures required has the potential to cause significant disruption and inconvenience to residents, the local businesses community and other stakeholders who will all need to consider and plan for them.”

The authority’s interim chief executive, Chris Burns, has said that some areas would be cut off for the day, and despite his assertion that the Welsh Government sees the event as “quite a major part of putting Wales on the map for tourism in general” others see things differently.

Gary Johnston, Labour councillor for Newbridge, said the council’s role was to represent residents, not the Welsh government, and claimed there was ‘nothing to gain’. “I cannot see any positives for this borough whatsoever. People missing work will not be paid.”

Robin Woodyatt, cabinet member for social services, explained why the road closures will be subject to further consultation.

“The implications will be absolutely tremendous, but people have said it will be a massive boost for the area. People have said to me although they’re against it in principle, it’s not going to affect them a great deal.

“I can’t find it in me to welcome this but we should not – as my first instinct told me – throw it away. I don’t think we have an alternative but to go to consultation.”

Views can be submitted to communicationsunit [at]

Velothon Wales is part of a series of events, with other similar sportives and races taking place in Vienna, Berlin and Philadelphia. Velothon Berlin, in particular, has attracted top riders to the pro race and has previously been won by Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel.

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