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First Minister criticises Velothon Wales communications strategy

Some local traders asking why they won’t receive compensation

Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales, has said that the organisers of Velothon Wales should have communicated information relating to road closures sooner. Traders are complaining that closed roads will cost them thousands with some wondering why compensation has not been made available.

The 140km sportive and the professional race that follows will go through Cardiff, Newport, Torfaen, Monmouthshire and Caerphilly and a number of roads will be shut.

While the organisers, Lagardere, say they have spoken to hundreds of businesses about the likely disruption, David Pell, who owns The White Hart Village Inn at Llangybi, told the South Wales Argus that he was unaware of the implications until recently. “My insurance will not cover this and as a small business which has recently opened this is intolerable,” he said before asking why compensation had not been made available.

Wedding organiser Carol Night said she had heard about the closures in February. Nevertheless, she is unhappy that two weddings will be affected. “Whilst we aren’t opposed to events like these it would have been nice to have been consulted with. We were only told about it in February and our wedding couple had booked the date in 2013.”

Velothon Wales has agreed to allow the bridal car to travel from Griffithstown with a moto escort to get to the hotel and then to Usk Castle following the ceremony.

Wales Online reports that First Minister Carwyn Jones has said that Velothon organisers should have spoken to residents and businesses sooner.

“Things, I think, should have been done a lot earlier in terms of the organisation’s communication, but, nevertheless, we’re confident now that, having facilitated the round-the-table discussions, we will be in a position where the public will be informed as quickly as possible of what the consequences of the event are.”

A spokeswoman for Velothon Wales said that the event is expected to bring a £2 million boost to the Welsh economy overall, but admitted that some businesses would suffer difficulties on the day. She said that the aim was to keep disruption to a minimum.

“We have been engaging with hundreds of businesses and thousands of residents along the route to inform them of the event and associated road closures so they can plan around it. Full details are on the Velothon Wales website.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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