Rethink format of Velo South or go elsewhere

Velo Birmingham 2017 PPP-180406-110605001
Velo Birmingham 2017 PPP-180406-110605001

Oh dear, what a shame... Someone is obviously looking down on us. Hard luck to all the Lycra brigade who were planning to take over our county, without so much as a thought for those who actually live here. Hopefully they get their money back – and good luck with that.

Tough luck to the money-grabbing organisers... Didn’t they make enough out of the government during the run-up to the Olympics. Even if they do refund, they’ll still make a killing on the merchandising, registration etc.

Just deserts to those councillors who, without public consultation, rode roughshod (if you’ll excuse the pun) over their constituents. Maybe these people aren’t there to represent us, or consult with us at all, just to dictate to us?

Well done to Stop Velo South, for informing people of the dire consequences and organising resistance to the race in a non-confrontational manner.

Congratulations to all those people of the county who were prepared to give up their time to peacefully protest against this type of horrendous imposition.

Commiserations to the organisers of local events and sport fixtures that had to be cancelled and have insufficient time to re-organise.

Sorry to all the older people living in the county that rely on support, for the worry and confusion caused by it.

Sorry to all the local businesses who, despite wild promises of riches from the organisers and the councils, had their livelihoods threatened.

Also, well done to Loxwood FC who, at the last minute, realised the levels Velo South would stoop to and who removed their associations to them, in favour of local funding.

I have a few questions for the organisers and for Louise Goldsmith, the councillor who should be held accountable:

How did you expect to ‘showcase’ our county, when from most directions prospective visitors couldn’t actually get into it? If you are referring to the cyclists as being the visitors, they are only interested in the race and, when it’s over, will be off to the next unfortunate venue, without a thought for our county. Ask the people of Birmingham for their opinions on the subject.

Surely you can’t be deluded enough to see this sort of event as being open and inclusive to the public and as a health benefit to normal people, as it obviously is not. Rather, it’s a race for the elites on their £1,000 bikes all purporting to be the next Bradley Wiggins.

Have you driven the country lanes on a Sunday morning and experienced the dangerous and sometimes abusive behaviour of these very people? And can you explain to me how 15,000 cyclists are expected to cram themselves safely into some lanes that are not much wider than a footpath?

Will Chichester District Council be the ones picking rubbish out of the hedgerows and clearing up after these events and if so will it be public money used to do it?

My feeling is that it will be left for locals to return their villages to normality.

Finally, why can’t events like this be from A to B. Sure, it would be a bit more inconvenient for the cyclists but so what. At least with road closures, alternative routes could be found for residents.

I would strongly suggest that, in future, Louise Goldsmith listens and takes note of heavy public opinion before blindly taking decisions of this magnitude and that Lord Coe and his associates rethink the format or take the event elsewhere to a more suitable venue.

Chris Cole, Valentines Lea, Northchapel