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Did the ‘worst cycling event EVER’ just get slightly better?

Now you CAN bring your own bike to ride 18km loop of Aberdeen bypass from which cyclists will be banned once it opens


Our article last week posing the question, “Is this the worst cycling event EVER?” about a cycling festival planned ahead of the opening of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Road (AWPR) before it opens to motor vehicles got a lot of attention – including possibly from the organisers, who are now allowing people to bring their own bikes along to ride an 18-kilometre loop on the new road.

> Is this the worst cycling event EVER?

As we reported last week, the initial plans were that people would not be able to take their own bikes to the Go North East Road Festival “for everyone’s safety” and that they would instead have to travel by shuttle bus to the event, which is being held on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 September.

> Bridge over new Aberdeen bypass - home to forthcoming "worst cycling event ever" - described as "lethal" for cyclists and walkers

Once at the free event, they would be able to ride a short section of the £745 million road, one of Scotland’s largest ever infrastructure projects, using one of 200 bikes that the organisers are providing in a “come and try” area.

“This will give an opportunity for novices and the more experienced to cycle a short section of AWPR B-T,” they said. “Cyclists of all levels can wiz [sic], wobble or weave on the closed road, promoting active travel and greener transport.”

Now, they have added the “GNE Cycle Experience” starting at 9am on the Sunday morning – the festival itself gets under way at 10am – which “requires advance registration to allow cyclists to bring their own bike and enjoy an 18km closed-road loop of the new AWPR.”

Up to 1,500 places are available, with only those with a pre-booked ticket allowed to ride the loop, which starts and finishes at Craibstone.

It is not clear from the event website just how to go about registration, althoughinfo [at]"> there is an email contact address.

The festival will be the first and last opportunity for cyclists to ride on the new road – once open to motor vehicles, “similar to a motorway, cyclists will be prohibited from using it for their own safety,” says Transport Scotland.

It adds: “However, the benefits to cyclists and pedestrians of the project are to be found in the local road networks which will be relieved of strategic traffic, with all the environmental and safety benefits this will bring.”

Some locals might disagree with that. Earlier this week, we reported how the a recently constructed bridge over the new road meant that cyclists using the popular Deeside Way off-road path need to ride for 30 metres into oncoming traffic because no requirement was included in the construction contract to make provision for a safe cycle crossing. Transport Scotland has said it is looking to resolve that issue.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Beatnik69 | 5 years ago

All it needs is Jim Bowen opening the event, saying "let's have a look at what you could've won"

Deeferdonk | 5 years ago

On bank holiday Monday there will probably be no workmen on the road so would be a good time for an unofficial ride down the whole length of it.

I have memories of my Dad taking me bike rides down the partially completed A50 dual cariageway in South Derbyshire when the workers had knocked off for Xmas.

Dnnnnnn replied to Deeferdonk | 5 years ago

Deeferdonk wrote:

On bank holiday Monday

It's not a bank holiday in Scotland!

CygnusX1 | 5 years ago
1 like

Why don't they spend the money they've pissed up the wall with this cluster-fuck of a publicity stunt on building the short section of cycle path instead?

Morat | 5 years ago

I'm guessing there was a tickbox labelled "blah blah blah cycling" on the planning permission form.


BehindTheBikesheds | 5 years ago

Add in the fact it's a ticket event only and it's limited to 1500 people.

The whole event is a charade, not building a seperate bike path along its length is a disgrace. £0.75 BILLION and no fucking bikes allowed, piss off!

burtthebike | 5 years ago

"Did the ‘worst cycling event EVER’ just get slightly better?"

No.  It got very slightly less embarrassingly awful, but only slightly.

So you can now bring your own bike, but how do you get it there?  It would appear that there is a seperate event where you can bring your bike on the day after the main event, but it isn't clear how you get it there, as the website still says all access is by shuttle bus. 

"A separate GNE Cycle Experience offers a further opportunity for cyclists to register to bring their own bikes to cycle an 18km closed-road loop of the new AWPR on the morning of Sunday 9 September."

It is still crass and insulting to invite cyclists to ride along a section of road when there are no cycle paths and cyclists will be banned when the road is open.  When is open season on transport planners?


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