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Anti-cycling feeling apparent as Velothon Wales draws near

Road closures the issue with 15,000 people due to ride in the event

Opposition to Velothon Wales appears to be growing as South Wales prepares to host 15,000 cyclists next Sunday. A number of people have taken to social media to express their annoyance with the disruption while signs announcing road closures have been daubed with the word ‘no’.

Around 15,000 cyclists will ride the Velothon Wales sportive on June 14 with a UCI-sanctioned pro race immediately afterwards in what promises to be a spectacular event. However, with so many people set to take part, disruption is inevitable.

On Thursday, Gwent Police posted a message to its Facebook page advising residents to plan ahead.

“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.”

Although the police are not directly involved, the post was soon gathering negative comments from those affected, with much of the usual talk of ‘road tax’ and insurance.

A number of local businesses have also had their say, concerned that they will lose out on business. Several have expressed a belief that details regarding road closures could have been better communicated to them.

A Velothon spokesman has admitted that there is likely to be an impact on the wider area with traffic forced off some major roads onto alternative routes. “We are asking people to plan ahead and give themselves extra time to get around the area if they need to travel on this day.”

Some public transport will also be affected and organisers say they are working with bus services to divert routes where possible, although some will be cancelled.

The Velothon Wales website has a section containing information on road closures. It states that after the events have passed through, roads will remain closed for a time “to ensure they are safe and secure for public use”.  This will involve removal of barriers, cleaning the roads and dispersing crowds.

In contrast, this weekend’s Tour of Cambridgeshire appears to be taking place with minimal ill-feeling. The nation’s first closed-road Gran Fondo will see around 6,000 riders tackling a 128km route.

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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