Cycling in and around Birmingham England
I've looked at the route and I know Droitwich pretty well too. You're still focusing on householder Ian.
Tell me, how are the companies on Pointon Way in Droitwich going to get on? Will farmers have to take a day off from milking their cows, because the milk tankers can't get to the plant?
It would be interesting to see what info the organiser are putting out regarding this event (something I'll have to check tomorrow). Cyclist may know about it, but I bet there are plenty of others who will only be finding out, when a leaflet comes through the door. I can't see how closures can be implemented/finalised, if affected parties (including businesses) have not had a chance to voice their concerns.
If the organisers want to make this an annual event, which I'd like to see, they need to get it right. Councils may be on board this year, but if it causes massive problems and upsets voters, next year (2018), which is an election year, things may be completely different.
wherever you have closed roads events the same applies whether Wales or London, people will cope as they always do.
Adding to Average Joe's comments above, I can add to his observations.
It is fairly binary to argue that people should accept the event for day as there are 364 alternatives during the year. In my personal case, that is true but it is not for many.
In my hamlet, we had a straw poll on residents affected, all to varying degrees of severity. Some mildly inconvenienced with others unacceptably impacted:
- 3 vulnerable adults requiring social care workers to dress, wash and feed. Care workers be unable to reach clients during to length of period for surrounding road closures.
- 1 railway signalman unable to reach work
- 1 railway operations engineer unable to reach work
- 1 airline pilot unable to reach work
- 2 farms unable to receive milk lorries
- 1 agricultural contractor unable to leave for remote farms (busiest time of year for fodder harvesting)
- 1 pub (1 loss of trade but could cope)
- 1 police officer but I guess he will be on duty at the event!
- 1 veterinary surgeon unable to respond to call-outs
- 1 farrier, who's work is busiest at weekends
- potential impact upon local farmers at their busiest time of year, harvesting fodder for animal feed.
On top of that three towns will be badly affected with all but two roads unavailable during the peak closure. At two other towns are also impacted albeit to a lesser degree.
The Severn Valley Railway, a key contributor to the Kidderminster/Bewdley economy will be adversely affected that weekend due to its scheduled Gala weekend. For Kidderminster, the SVR will contribute more to the economy than VeloBirmingham will ever achieve. Given that it is likely that the SVR will have reached commercial agreements already and the event advertised, it will not be something that can be easily rescheduled. People travelling from afar are simply not going to attempt a difficult journey with convoluted diversions. Velobirmingham have been summoned to their offices to sort the situation out! Velobirmingham failed to consult SVR and they only learnt via e-mails from residents along the route. Similarly, Velobirmingham have not even consulted the parish councils en route. When I informed my parish clerk it was the first she had heard of it! When I mentioned it to a county councillor in Worcestershire, he had no knowledge of it. This whole episode stinks of a stitch up between a commercial organisation and a small number of local political leaders.
Am I saying that Velobirmingham should be cancelled or should not take place? Of course not. As a cyclist I want to see mass events that engage cyclists and raise our profile. But their organisation has behaved in an unbelievably arrogant way towards local communities. Instead of building bridges and support they are alienating all concerned both in rural communities and towns along route. If they had not imposed such a draconian and excessively long road closure period then communities could have adjusted. Local people would have been inconvenienced by they may have supported they event. Instead, the opposite is occurring. And who gets the brunt of dissatisfaction on the roads, we local cyclists!