Health and safety cited as reason for fencing off Hadleigh Farm circuit

Police in Essex have warned mountain bikers to stay away from the venue of the London 2012 MTB race and not to try and pit themselves against the Olympic circuit at Hadleigh Farm Country Park, with security measures put in place to deter anyone who fancies having a go.

While one of the great things about road cycling is the ease of following the same routes ridden by the pros - since the course of the London 2012 road race was announced, keen riders have been testing themselves on the very roads that next year will see Samuel Sanchez and Nicole Cooke defend their Beijing titles - over in the MTB world, things aren’t so simple.

Essex-based newspaper The Enquirer reports that MTB enthusiasts have been told to stay away from the 5 kilometre circuit, completed earlier this year and described by GB rider Liam Killeen as “very physically demanding,” as a result of health and safety concerns.

Fences have been erected around the course and signs put in place warning of the danger of attempting to ride on it, while wooden barriers have also been put in place at certain points on the circuit itself to act as a further deterrent to would-be riders.

Local police say that with the track designed to meet the demands of Olympic competition, it isn’t safe for park users to ride on and that children should be discouraged from going there, with PS Chris Bramhill saying: . "We don't want anyone getting injured in the run up to the Olympics and we will be patrolling the area at regular intervals."

The newspaper adds that plans are still under consideration for a legacy course to be put in place following next summer’s Olympic Games.

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.