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Route for RideLondon-Essex 2023 sportive confirmed

Event returns on Sunday 28 May with improvements made in areas such as local access

The route for next year’s RideLondon-Essex 2023 sportive has been confirmed, and will be the same as the one taken by last May’s debut edition which saw more than 22,000 cyclists head east out of the capital into the neighbouring county.

The 2023 edition of the event, which is organised by London Marathon Events in partnership with Essex County Council, is due to take place on Sunday 28 May.

Following this year’s event, the county council and LME held a consultation to gain feedback from local businesses and residents and have now confirmed details of the route to be used next year, with some improvements made in areas such as access for people living locally and crossing points.

Cyclists will head out of central London and through Epping Forest into Essex, continuing on through  Epping, Ongar, Leaden Roding, Great Dunmow, Felsted and Writtle before heading back into the capital via Ongar. 

On online map of the route can be found here

Essex County Council says that the route “has been confirmed because it has the least impact on the strategic road network in the county, includes roads wide enough to accommodate both emergency vehicles and cyclists and offers the greatest number of access options for residents.”

Councillor Lee Scott, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Maintenance and Sustainable Transport, said: “RideLondon-Essex 2022 was a successful event, but we want to make RideLondon-Essex 2023 even better. With the changes we’ve put in place, we’re confident of delivering an event which will greatly benefit businesses, residents and communities.

“With our beautiful countryside and picturesque villages, RideLondon-Essex showcases the best of the county to a national and international audience, helping to boost business and tourism in the county.

“It also aligns with our Everyone’s Essex objectives promoting physical activity to encourage healthy lifestyles and promoting walking and cycling as part of a move towards Net Zero.”

Residents living close to the route and nearby businesses will receive leaflets in the new year providing information about the event, with details also available on the RideLondon website.

www.ridelondon.co.uk/community-info/community-info

Kevin Nash, route director, commented: “We’ve been working hard since the first RideLondon-Essex was held back in May to complete a review of the route and collate as much information and feedback on the event as possible from as many individuals, communities, businesses and stakeholders as possible.

“This has been invaluable as we work with Essex County Council to shape our plans for the 2023 RideLondon-Essex events.

“Our engagement work with communities on or near the route continues in the New Year to build awareness and ensure a safe and successful event on 28 May 2023.”

First held in 2013 as a legacy of the previous year’s London Olympic and Paralympic Games, the first seven editions of RideLondon took place across an entire weekend and included the RideLondon-Surrey 100 sportive, which took place ahead of the elite men’s RideLondon-Surrey Classic race.

The coronavirus pandemic meant that RideLondon was cancelled in both 2020 and 2021, with a virtual event organised instead in each year, and in the meantime Surrey County Council announced that following consultation with local residents and businesses it would no longer host the event, with Essex County Council subsequently confirmed as the new local authority partner.

Places for the 100-mile sportive next May have already sold out – some entries may still be available through charities, usually with a commitment to meet a certain fundraising target – while places for the 60-mile version of the sportive will be released in the New Year.

Besides the sportive, Sunday 28 May will also see the third and concluding stage of the UCI Women’s WorldTour race, the RideLondon-Essex Classique, as well as the RideLondon FreeCycle, which sees tens of thousands of cyclists take to a family-friendly closed road circuit in the heart of the capital.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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16 comments

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P9uma | 1 year ago
1 like

I rode the first four RLS100s, they were great fun, especially the first one, and even the second in the truly biblical rain. I was disappointed to learn that Surrey withdrew their support from the event, from what I've read it seemed the reasons were petty mindedness. 
Who the fuggery buck wants ride round Essex?  It's a shit hole. 

 

 

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Surreyrider | 1 year ago
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"Surrey County Council announced that following consultation with local residents and businesses it would no longer host the event."

It's a strange (sham?) consultation that ignores around two-thirds of the respondents' wishes and goes ahead with doing what the council clearly wanted to do from the outset.

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muhasib replied to Surreyrider | 1 year ago
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Why was it a sham? Less than half of Surrey residents 48.77% strongly agreed with the statement ' I think the benefits of PRLS events outweigh the impact and disruption'.

Whether you include non Surrey Residents in your figures it still doesn't get up to 2/3rds support and they don't vote the councillors in each election.

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Rendel Harris replied to muhasib | 1 year ago
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Surrey Council cabinet paper: "Overall, the findings lean towards supporting the continuation of PRLS for the next 5 years, with 58.38% of all respondents and 53.47% of Surrey Residents agreeing that Surrey should continue to host PRLS."

 

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muhasib replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
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Still not 2/3rds though if even you add together 'strongly agree' and 'tend to agree'.
SCC described it as 'finely balanced'

'A better deal for Surrey residents was sought
from the event organisers to ensure that the negative impacts of the event on local
communities was sufficiently outweighed by the benefits to the wider community. These
efforts were led by the Leader, Cabinet Member and relevant senior officers, and specifically sought a financial contribution to provide thousands more children with cycle training across Surrey’s schools, but regrettably this commitment was not forthcoming from London Marathon Events'
Basically they didn't get an agreement on funding to offset negative effects of holding it year after year in the same format and route.

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Rendel Harris replied to muhasib | 1 year ago
1 like
muhasib wrote:

Still not 2/3rds though if even you add together 'strongly agree' and 'tend to agree'.

Still a majority greater than that which was used to change our entire country's future, and a majority which ever way you look at it.

muhasib wrote:

Basically they didn't get an agreement on funding to offset negative effects of holding it year after year in the same format and route.

What were the negative effects? For a few hours on one day a year residents who hadn't planned ahead couldn't get their cars out of their driveways. Surrey benefited to the tune of £4.8 million donated two projects in Surrey while the ride was held in the county, and from an estimated £50 million of tourist publicity for the county. 

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LeadenSkies replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
2 likes
Rendel Harris wrote:

]
What were the negative effects? For a few hours on one day a year residents who hadn't planned ahead couldn't get their cars out of their driveways. Surrey benefited to the tune of £4.8 million donated two projects in Surrey while the ride was held in the county, and from an estimated £50 million of tourist publicity for the county. 

I feel qualified to comment here as the route passes the bottom of my drive and left my house inside the 100 mile loop beyond Ongar. I would actually have struggled to plan a way of accessing my car as 3 of the 4 roads out of the village were closed for the best part of the day, and the other one only takes you further into the centre of the loop. I would have had to walk several miles along the route at a point where it was pathless to the nearest place I could have parked safely. The communication from ECC / RideLondon that was needed to allow you to plan a way out was crap. Far too last minute, lacking details and too high level. Almost no information on crossing points or how they would work. I am aware of neighbours who couldn't get to work and lost a day's wages. They, unsurprisingly, weren't filled with joy about it.

That said, being stuck in was not a huge issue for me. It's one Sunday in spring and even though the route is crap and doesn't at all showcase the best of Essex, I took the opportunity, grabbed a last minute charity place, and did the ride for the experience. I actually really enjoyed it but not enough to want to do it every year.

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Rendel Harris replied to LeadenSkies | 1 year ago
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That certainly sounds pretty poor and in need of better comms and organisation. I was really just thinking of the Surrey route which I believe goes through areas of much higher road density than the Essex one so many more opportunities to leave the car not far away if you're really going to need to get it out that day.

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OnYerBike replied to muhasib | 1 year ago
3 likes
muhasib wrote:

Why was it a sham? Less than half of Surrey residents 48.77% strongly agreed with the statement ' I think the benefits of PRLS events outweigh the impact and disruption'. Whether you include non Surrey Residents in your figures it still doesn't get up to 2/3rds support and they don't vote the councillors in each election.

Very selective use of the word "strongly" there. Over half of Surrey-resident respondents* agreed with the statement "I think the benefits of PRLS events outweigh the impact and disruption" (48.77% strongly plus a further 5.58% tending to).

* Another error in your post - as per the below, the vast majority of Surrey residents said nothing. These figures only relate to survey respondents. 

I also think it's fair to say that this consultation had flaws that seem to plague many similar consultations - the reach is pretty pathetic and almost certainly strongly biased towards people with a strong opinion one way of the other. As such, whilst I think public consultations can be a useful tool to hear a diverse range of opinions and maybe gain some insight that was otherwise lacking, I think it is always a mistake to treat them as de facto referrenda. 

To put some numbers on it, there were 9,064 responses of which 86.23% were Surrey residents - so 7,816 respondents were Surrey residents. According to the blurb on their Facebook page, Surrey County Council covers a population of 1.2m people. So that makes a response rate of <0.7%.

For some further numbers, according to Wikipedia "In 2013, more than 16,000 people started the RideLondon-Surrey 100". So about twice as many people took part in the event than bothered to respond to the survey. So even among people you would think were engaged and had an interest in responding, the response rate was very low.  

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matthewn5 | 1 year ago
3 likes

If you don't like this route, sign up for Islington Cycle Club's 'Big Day Out' ride, they know Essex much better, and it was a brilliant 205km day. Lots more hills, too. Though it did use the bleak B1256 out of Great Dunmow last year.

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Global Nomad | 1 year ago
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I was disappointed with large sections of the route last year - Essex has so much more to offer. It avoided many of the more picturesque parts or interesting lanes - presumably due to worries about volume of riders/access and used some very bleak stretches of main road. I haven't studied the alternatives but the main feature of the route for stronger riders was its speed due to lack of climbs and that was my experience on the ride. 

Doesn't compare well to the Surrey route and had hoped they would tweak some sections. Haven't applied this year and dont feel the need to either.

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Surreyrider replied to Global Nomad | 1 year ago
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Exactly. While I enjoyed a closed road ride, I don't recall seeing what the councillor describes in his quote:

"Our beautiful countryside and picturesque villages, RideLondon-Essex showcases the best of the county".

However, I can see a case for using wider roads that emergency services can access easily. Some of the Surrey lanes were far from ideal, even if the views were much better.

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mark1a | 1 year ago
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The news release and map don't confirm, but I wonder whether the start & finish will be the same? Revised start at Parliament Square made sense, as going from the previous Stratford start straight up the A12 wouldn't have been much "RideLondon" at the start. The finish, understandably was moved from The Mall to Tower Bridge because of the Jubilee preparations. I'm staying in Battersea so Parliament Square & Tower Bridge would suit me fine.  

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Organon replied to mark1a | 1 year ago
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Uphill into dawn sun also wasn't ideal for speed or visibility.

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mark1a replied to Organon | 1 year ago
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Very true, but wherever the start is, everyone is heading east in the morning. Witnessed a few accidents where people had hit kerbs after coming out of tunnels, just take it easy until Epping I guess. 

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Surreyrider replied to Organon | 1 year ago
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Oh yes - I'd forgotten about that. It was quite difficult at times early on when there were a lot of riders around you.

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