Cyclist enthusiasts still buoyed up by the highlights and camaderie generated by the great Tour de France‘s passage through the streets of Britain and which culminated in London, will now have another reason to celebrate, as the Prudential RideLondon cycling extravaganza makes its presence felt this August.
Billed by its organisers as a “world-class festival of cycling”, RideLondon will see hundreds of Lycra-clad and two-wheeled athletes travel through the capital in aid of charity. The event, which is supported by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, Surrey Council and Transport for London (with publicity handled by PR agency London & Partners), is scheduled to take place on the 10th August 2014.
While this day will see the mountain bike become the king of the road, other road users are being advised to plan ahead as many roads and bridges on the RideLondon route will be affected. Many will be closed off in order to provide clear passage for the participants, in much the same way that roads in east and central London were temporarily closed for the last leg of the Tour three weeks ago.
The Prudential RideLondon event is a multiple award-winning festival of cycling which was developed by London’s overall elected Mayor alongside London & Partners, and Transport for London, the government agency in charge of running and funding the city’s transportation networks, including its Underground lines and distinctive red buses. Alongside the London-based partners, the event will also see the involvement of Surrey County Council, the local government body for the county of Surrey which lies south of London. The event is managed by the London & Surrey Cycling Partnership, and is part of the London Marathon event family which aims to promote uptake of physical activities.
Last year’s RideLondon was described as a ‘huge success’. It rode into the record books as the world’s largest inaugural mass participation sports event and cyclists and organisers managed to raise an astonishing £7 million in aid of various charities. On the Sunday 10th August, an estimated 24,000 riders of varying abilities will take on this challenging 100 mile run through deserted streets across London and Surrey in the first part of the rally, named the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100. Then after this is complete, 150 professional cyclists from across the globe will be pitted against each other in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic, which is a longer, 200 kilometre variation of the amateur route. This will be broadcast live on the BBC, public service broadcaster to the British nation. The starting line for both rallies will be at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, east London. From there, riders will work their way through London’s eastern flanks, taking in Hackney and Tower Hamlets boroughs before heading south for the county border where they will encounter acres of scenic countryside as they ride through Surrey. They will then retrace their route back to an iconic finish in the centre of town at The Mall.
On this August weekend, other road users will need to be aware that many roads will be blocked off to vehicles meaning that there will be a significant impact on traffic flows in the local area and also possibly major roads leading out from the affected area. As the roads will be closed for the day, motorists will need to either replan their routes or alternatively utilise public transport. Most road closures on the RideLondon route in the eastern parts of the capital will begin at 5:00 in the early morning and end at either 9:30 or 10:30 in the morning.
This route will be closed from 5:00 am to 10:30 am:
- Waterden Road, Stratford – a road leading from the Olympic Park.
These following routes will be closed from 5:00 am to 9:30 am:
- The A12 main road between Redbridge borough and Blackwall Lane, including A102 Blackwall Tunnel and Northern Approach.
- The A12 main road also leading from the Blackwall Tunnel to Redbridge borough.
- East India Dock Road (A13), in the Poplar area and possibly through all of Tower Hamlets borough.
- Aspen Way, between Poplar and Blackwall.
- Limehouse Link – tunnel in the Limehouse area of Tower Hamlets.
- The Highway (A1203) in Shadwell.
- East Smithfield (part of A1203 road) also in the Tower Hamlets area.
- Minories – a road in Aldgate near central London.
- Tower Hill – the road leading south-west of Minories.
The above times are for the first race (mass-participation event). The listed roads and tunnels will then shut again for a rolling temporary closure between the hours of 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm for the professional segment of the Prudential RideLondon. The only exception to the above will be the A12 from the A102 Blackwall Tunnel to Redbridge which will remain open during the time of the professional rally. The ‘rolling temporary closure’ is when special motorcycle-based escort teams will hold back normal road traffic to allow the racers to pass the route and minimise the likelihood of any accidents. This will cause some inconvenience to drivers on these roads so it is recommended to avoid them as much as possible during the hour the professional race will be passing though in.
The routes for the cycling events will need to be made secure and will therefore be cleared of all vehicles to ensure the safety of cyclists, spectators and local residents living along the routes and side streets. The A12 main road, A102 Blackwall Tunnel and A13 will reopen to traffic after the last amateur cyclist has vacated them. If you have your car, van or other vehicle parked on one of the above listed routes, you are advised to move your vehicle to a different location the night before at the latest. Parking will be temporarily prohibited for safety reasons from 12:00 midnight on the Sunday 10th August. Any vehicles not relocated or parked up in a suspended parking bay will be removed from the route. Roads coming off the route will have access only to local people and business owners/staff during the race. The usual Sunday parking restrictions will be in place unless otherwise notified.
For those looking to get about via public transport, the good news is that there are no pre-planned or event-related Tube line or station closures for the Prudential RideLondon. However, trains in certain areas may be more packed than usual as spectators will be travelling to and from the event in the East London. This overspill may also affect buses, trains and DLR routes as well. As the weather may be warm, please bring a bottle of water or drink with you to avoid dehydration, dizziness or fainting and do not leave your manners at home. Some buses may be diverted temporarily, suspended or will terminate earlier than their usual final stop as buses will also be banned from using the affected roads when the race is in progress. Check online before you travel. Many bus stops on the cycle route will also be out of service for the race’s duration, along with some Barclays Cycle Hire (‘Boris bikes‘) docking stations nearby the routes affected.
As far as central London bridges are concerned, most will be shut until the evening. The exceptions are Waterloo, Blackfriars and London Bridges which will remain open all day. However expect there to be a lot of traffic as drivers using the closed bridges will be concentrated on the three open crossovers. For London’s emergency services, 999 emergencies will remain a priority for the police, ambulance and fire services. Emergency vehicle access around the route area is prioritised and remains as normal. These services will also been on standby for participants and spectators of the events, in co-operation with local hospitals and police stations.
Pedestrians crossing over roads that are part of the route will notice that all zebra and pelican crossing points will have uniformed event marshals who are there to help supervise the use of these crossings. Many of the usual crossings will be out of service but alternative and safe crossing points will be set up where it is easier to get across the road. Please be patient during the event and pay close attention to instruction given out by the marshals and stewards safeguarding the routes.
If you need assistance with access queries regarding using the affected area for matters such as social care or medical visits, weddings or other planning needs, then a special helpdesk will be on call during the RideLondon weekend. Call 0345 894 9773 during the hours of 05:00-1900 on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th August. Alternatively, email them at email@example.com.
– Transport for London travel check website to plan journeys nearer the event time.
– Complete details of all cycling routes for RideLondon, from the event organisers.
– Information on road closures in central, west, south-west London and Surrey from the event organisers.
– General information on the Prudential RideLondon cycling races.
– Details on the London Marathon Charitable Trust.
“Prudential RideLondon 10 August – Event information for east London” – Prudential RideLondon (leaflet)
“2014-07-17 20.35.11” – Vijay Shah, The Half-Eaten Mind/Flickr (17 July 2014) https://www.flickr.com/photos/110818734@N02/14492142479/
Getty Images via Zemanta.