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Residents angry over road closures and disruption could force race onto open roads

Surrey's County Council leader David Hodge says he will not bow to pressure to cancel the Vachery Triathlon in July, despite opposition from locals due to road closures.

The organisers, Brave Events, say they have been victim to intimidation, bullying and anti-cyclist protests - all fuelled by misinformation about the extent of the road closures.

Councillor Hodge has said that he will review the format and route of the race before it goes ahead, but the organiser says that much of the grandstanding over the event is due to political manoeuvring ahead of the May 2 local elections.

There will be some disruption on race day, on Sunday, July 21, leading to 6am to 2pm road closures - a worst case scenario say organisers, as they will be opened once competitors pass through.

Mark Davis, the company’s chief executive, told Get Surrey that a meeting he held was hijacked by protesters.

He alleged he was threatened outside and said others there reported incidents to the police - despite the council agreeing to the road closures. He also said that the event would bring £10 million to the local economy over the next three years.

Ockley was removed from the triathlon route following protests, but the 40km circuit will still go through Ewhurst, Ellens Green, Forest Green, Holmbury St Mary, Abinger and Okewood Hill.

Mr Davis said: “How many events bring top sports people and that sort of money into the area? You can’t believe how selfish people are because they don’t like cycling. Nobody is going to be trapped. People aren’t going to be stranded on an island.”

A County Hall spokesman said: “We have agreed to the event because it has the potential to provide a £1 million boost to the local economy, following on from the huge success of the Olympics.

“Unfortunately some roads have to be closed in the interests of safety of residents and competitors, but we are working with the organisers to ensure closures are kept to an absolute minimum.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

16 comments

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fatbeggaronabike [803 posts] 3 years ago
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How dare they close a road at 6am that's when all the residents in that area are still in bed move the road closures to 9am till 5pm that will be far better.  19

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therevokid [932 posts] 3 years ago
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i really does beggar belief doesn't it ..... they're
getting income from it for gods sake !!!

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 3 years ago
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I try my best when posting not to explode in a stream of profanities, but some people...

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mrmo [2067 posts] 3 years ago
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therevokid wrote:

i really does beggar belief doesn't it ..... they're
getting income from it for gods sake !!!

problem is a vocal group won't, same as in new forest. You have a rich group of commuters/londoners who want to live in the country and have no interest in the locals or what is in the locals interest if it disturbs there idea of how the country should be.

i see enough of it in the Cotswolds, London plated cars trying to run you off the road, Londoners buying second homes then trying to get bridleways re-routed etc. Banning locals from woodland that has been used for decades etc etc etc.

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northstar [1108 posts] 3 years ago
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Good

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Leviathan [1886 posts] 3 years ago
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northstar wrote:

Good

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Jaltham [60 posts] 3 years ago
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Maybe the locals should pay out of their own pockets for an individual rolling road block to be placed around each rider?

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Cycle_Jim [264 posts] 3 years ago
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My god! Closing the roads for a maximum of 8 hours on a sunday! How dare they!

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koko56 [330 posts] 3 years ago
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It's either a lot of misinformation supplied to the locals or them being a bunch of neurotic egoists  13

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Some Fella [890 posts] 3 years ago
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I would bloody love it if my road was closed for 8 hours.
Every day would be nice.

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northstar [1108 posts] 3 years ago
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I mean good the council is sticking up for the event.

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abudhabiChris [692 posts] 3 years ago
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I don't see anything wrong with the protests.

The New Forest types who wanted to ban the cycle event are clearly idiots but this is a triathlon... I mean, you've got to draw the line somewhere haven't you.

 19

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mjcycling [17 posts] 3 years ago
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Bl***y disgrace. One has to be able to take the Bentley out for a spin to pick up the Sunday Telegraph.

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jova54 [649 posts] 3 years ago
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mjcycling wrote:

Bl***y disgrace. One has to be able to take the Bentley out for a spin to pick up the Sunday Telegraph.

I'll just have to send the man servant on his bike  1

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Al__S [1007 posts] 3 years ago
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hmm, this area's affected by the RideLondonSurrey100/Classic road closures in August. The Leith Hill climb route for the 100 goes through Forest Green, and the Classic route has a loop with Leith Hill that's actually quite similar to this Tri's route.

The RideLondon road closure will be for much longer- is this a case of residents not objecting to the Tri as such, more to having two disruptive road closing events within a couple of weeks of each other? I sort of have sympathy (and will try to convey that through a suitable expression as I cycle through on RideLondon)(maybe not that last bit).

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FreudianSlit [10 posts] 3 years ago
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mjcycling wrote:

Bl***y disgrace. One has to be able to take the Bentley out for a spin to pick up the Sunday Telegraph.

More like

One has to be able to take the Bentley out for a spin to deliver the Sunday Telegraph what what what.