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RideLondon could be in doubt with Surrey Council consultation

Joe Robinson
3 Jan 2020

The council has opened a public consultation into whether it should continue to host RideLondon cycling events

The future of Britain's biggest cycling sportive could be in the balance as a public consultation on the future of RideLondon has been opened. The Surrey County Council is committed to hosting the event through 2020 but is yet to make a decision on whether the country will continue to host until 2025.

Since the event's introduction in 2013, many local residents and businesses have been hugely supportive, noting the benefits the weekend of activities has.

However, as with every major event, there has been a persistent voice of opposition at the disruption caused by road closures.

The road closures through Surrey help support three closed-road events - two mass-participation amateur events and the men's WorldTour Classic - across a full weekend.

The events see prolonged road closures across Surrey in Leatherhead, Dorking, Weybridge, Byfleet, West Byfleet, Oxshott and Esher as well as the main A25 road between Leith Hill and Box Hill. Road closures are also experienced across large parts of South West London.

One of the main critics in recent years was West End actress Elaine Paige who took to Twitter to criticise the ride writing: 'Just had an autocation (sic) with a rather rude road security person stopping me from driving to my home due to an annual disruptive bike ride across the capital. If cyclists paid road tax as I do I wouldn't feel quite so disgruntled.'

Paige soon deleted the tweet after learning that road tax has not existed in the UK since 1937.

It also ignored the fact that the RideLondon weekend has been one of the most lucrative charity fundraisers of the last decade, raising over £66 million for various causes since its inception in 2013.

Surrey Council also revealed that 70 projects have benefited to the tune of £4.3 million thanks to grants from the London Marathon Charitable Trust, the organisation at the centre of events.

If Surrey County Council does retain the event it confirmed the route will remain similar to the one currently in use.

If it turns its back on the event, then RideLondon could look towards fellow home counties such as Essex and Kent as potential replacements for the weekend of riding.

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