With a month to go until the first Velothon Wales, local businesses have expressed a mixed reaction to the extensive road closures. The Welsh government believes the event will have a big impact on tourism, but a number of traders along the route are concerned they will lose out.
Consultation on road closures began in April and final details have now been announced for Cardiff, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen. A number of roads will be closed for much of the day and ITV reports that many businesses are concerned about the disruption.
Usk Garden Centre said that closing for a day in peak season will cost them £15,000. They claim that they have only had one phone call about the road closures and still don’t know what time they will reopen.
Owner, Anna Jones, told the South Wales Argus that it was a really big trading day and road closures would therefore mean a huge financial loss. “I feel that we haven’t had any information or any apology at all – do they care about local businesses? It’s ridiculous.”
Blaenavon councillor, Alan Jones, said he thought more should have been done to contact those businesses likely to be affected. "Although I support the event in principle, it will directly impact on businesses and more should have been done to make sure that every one of the traders was contacted as many say they found out through third parties."
Velothon Wales have warned of ‘extensive’ closures on Sunday June 14 for what is a sizeable event with around 15,000 riders expected to take part.
“In order for Velothon Wales to operate safely, all roads that the route follows will be closed to traffic. The organisers are working closely with all local authorities to ensure that the event causes minimal disruption to local communities, with affected roads to be closed and re-opened section-by-section to ensure the overall duration of the closure is kept to an absolute minimum.”
Detailed road closure information, including timings and maps can be found here. There is also an email address and hotline.
The 140km closed road sportive will precede a UCI-sanctioned road race which will take place on the same roads. Riders will leave Cardiff to the east and continue to Newport and Usk before entering the Brecon Beacons National Park where they will tackle the Tumble climb which featured in the 2014 Tour of Britain. The route then heads south to Cardiff city centre via Pontypool and Newbridge, including a climb of Caerphilly Mountain.