Box Hill, the most popular climb for cyclists in southern England, will be closed to all traffic including bicycles over the Easter weekend in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus. The closure will run from tomorrow, Good Friday, through to next Monday.
The National Trust, which owns and manages the beauty spot, announced on Facebook that the decision to close the road had been taken in partnership with Surrey Police and Surrey County Council.
Surrey Live reports that last weekend, hundreds of people ignored government rules on staying at home except for essential reasons, as well a plea from the National Trust not to drive to Box Hill, with many sunbathing and holding picnics on its slopes.
However, the website says that many of the people there dispersed when a police helicopter appeared overhead.
A picture appeared in The Times of cyclists claiming to show cyclists riding up the climb in a group – although a separate image, taken by one of the riders, shows that they were riding well apart.
The rider who posted the image to Twitter also said that people riding there were doing so individually, or with members of their households, in line with government advice.
Even though Box Hill is closed to cyclists over the long weekend, you can still ride it in the virtual sense.
Zwift is running its London International event, which includes two ascents of Box Hill, from tomorrow until Monday.
It forms part of the virtual cycling platform's Zwift Classics series, with full details available here.
The climb of Box Hill's Zig-Zag Road achieved global prominence when it was used in the London 2012 Olympic road races and in Prudential RideLondon-Surrey every year since.
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.