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Surrey withdraws support for RideLondon in favour of "less disruptive events"

Decision supposedly swayed by survey which found 58 per cent of people were in support of annual event

Surrey County Council (SCC) has withdrawn its support for RideLondon from 2022 onwards. Councillors expressed a desire to support smaller “less disruptive events” in future.

SCC put its support of RideLondon to a vote this week after claiming that a survey had revealed that, "a significant proportion of respondents were strongly opposed to the event."

The survey in fact found that 58 per cent of respondents would support RideLondon’s continuation in Surrey for the next five years, but dissatisfaction with road closures appears to have been a decisive factor.

SCC had already proposed a shorter, 50km 'inspiration ride' for 2021 instead of the 100-mile sportive, with only four miles of the route crossing into Surrey.

Explaining that position ahead of the vote, Denise Turner-Stewart, cabinet member for communities, said: “The recommendations in the paper were not easy to make, and we held off making this decision until we had exhausted all available options to try to make the event work for our residents.

“However, the ethos of the smaller event; focusing on inspiring the take-up of cycling by women, families, and Wheels for All, more closely aligns to the Council’s objectives to encourage cycling for everyday journeys.

“Although we can no longer support the larger closed road event, we remain open minded to hosting less disruptive, smaller family focused events in future years.”

Speaking last week, the director of RideLondon warned Surrey businesses, sports clubs and charities that they stood to lose out on millions as a result of SCC’s withdrawal of support.

The London Marathon Charitable Trust awards grants to recreational projects in areas where London Marathon Events Ltd organises events as a way of thanking communities for their support. Hugh Brasher pointed out that Surrey sports clubs and community organisations will now no longer be eligible to apply.

“More than £4.8m has now been awarded to 93 projects in Surrey since 2013 as a direct benefit of RideLondon taking place in the county – that’s an average of £685,000 per year in funding to Surrey projects for the past seven years,” he said.

“Furthermore, millions of pounds have been spent with Surrey businesses and millions of pounds raised for Surrey charities as a direct result of RideLondon.

“Other benefits from the event include more than £50m value of the promotion of Surrey as a tourist destination, the direct benefits to physical and mental health of cycling and a reduction in pollution levels through more people cycling.”

He added: “Events the size and scale of RideLondon are founded once every generation and uniquely, other than officer time, this event cost the county nothing.”

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

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44 comments

Avatar
Jetmans Dad replied to Brightspark | 3 years ago
1 like
Brightspark wrote:

Having looked at the way RideLondon have acted in the past I seriously doubt that they will look anywhere else. 

I suspect that as far as they are concerned the cash cow is starting to dry up and it is time to shut up shop before anyone can ask any questions.

Except isn't it run by the same people who operate the London Marathon? If so, I doubt they will even be considering "shutting up shop". 

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Brightspark replied to Jetmans Dad | 3 years ago
0 likes

[/quote]

Except isn't it run by the same people who operate the London Marathon? If so, I doubt they will even be considering "shutting up shop". 

[/quote]

I think that the differences between the type of events is the decider. The Marathon has a smaller route and is in an area that is less car dependent, especially at weekends.

The problem they have is coming outside of the Metropolitain Area. Different Police force, different type of local government different type of residents. Being asked to dip their hands in their pockets was not part of the plan.

I am minded of the history of this event especially the debacle in setting out the olympic event and course. It was always about the money. It was never about the long term survival of the sport despite what Seb Coe said.

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Hicksi replied to eburtthebike | 3 years ago
1 like

What hysterical nonsense. 'caraholics', 'petrolheads', 'car addicts', 'fight them', 'cycling is the solution' blah blah. No, cycling isn't 'the solution', it's actually a crap transport solution. How many women cycle more than ten miles each way to work, 52 weeks a year? Very, very few. Some members of my club cycle into London around 20 miles each way but they are 99% male, exceptional, young, tough, brave. Sure, many more people cycle in London a few miles on the flat but all the millions poured into cycle lanes and hot air from politicians won't change the fact that cycling as a means of modern transport over any distance is for a very small percentage of people. Who here cycles regularly with the weekly shop on the handlebars? I ride around 5000 miles a year but like ALL but a tiny few in my club, I also have a car. Try living out of London without one.

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ktache replied to Hicksi | 3 years ago
7 likes

I wouldn't put shopping on the handlebars, big courier bag for my trip to the shops, though I hear panniers are excellent for that sort of thing, and when I move away from the walkable supermarket, soon probably, it's a trailer for me.

I'd say that women cycle commuters outnumber male ones at my place of work.  Not that there London either.

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GrahamH replied to Hicksi | 3 years ago
6 likes

Not like the Veit Min used bicycles to move howitzers, mortors and all the associated amunition to defeat the French and then the Amerians But yea, its impossible to transport a bit of shopping by bicycles.

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Captain Badger replied to GrahamH | 3 years ago
1 like
GrahamH wrote:

Not like the Veit Min used bicycles to move howitzers, mortors and all the associated amunition to defeat the French and then the Amerians But yea, its impossible to transport a bit of shopping by bicycles.

Geez, don't tell the NIMBY's that.

"'Ow am I supposed to transport the battalion's ammunition without my SUV? Eh? tell me that!"

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eburtthebike replied to Hicksi | 3 years ago
9 likes
Hicksi wrote:

What hysterical nonsense. 'caraholics', 'petrolheads', 'car addicts', 'fight them', 'cycling is the solution' blah blah. No, cycling isn't 'the solution', it's actually a crap transport solution. How many women cycle more than ten miles each way to work, 52 weeks a year? Very, very few. Some members of my club cycle into London around 20 miles each way but they are 99% male, exceptional, young, tough, brave. Sure, many more people cycle in London a few miles on the flat but all the millions poured into cycle lanes and hot air from politicians won't change the fact that cycling as a means of modern transport over any distance is for a very small percentage of people. Who here cycles regularly with the weekly shop on the handlebars? I ride around 5000 miles a year but like ALL but a tiny few in my club, I also have a car. Try living out of London without one.

Complaining about "hysterical nonsense" seems rather perverse when you write it so much better yourself.

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Captain Badger replied to Hicksi | 3 years ago
4 likes
Hicksi wrote:

... won't change the fact that cycling as a means of modern transport over any distance is for a very small percentage of people. 

That also holds true for cars to a certain extent. The majority of journeys in cars are over [edit: I mean within] walkable and cyclable distances, and no, most of the time folk aren't transporting wardrobes, fridges, plumbers tools, or even for that matter shopping.

For someone who claims to manage a cycling club you seem keen on the main argument used against cycling - that it's not a magic bullet that solves everything.

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eburtthebike replied to Captain Badger | 3 years ago
4 likes
Captain Badger wrote:

The majority of journeys in cars are over [edit: I mean within] walkable and cyclable distances, and no, most of the time folk aren't transporting wardrobes, fridges, plumbers tools, or even for that matter shopping.

I once had an interesting conversation with a guy who said he had to have a car to take his family to buy the children's school uniforms.  He went quiet when I asked him how often he did that, and pointed out he could get a taxi and save £3k/an.

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Secret_squirrel replied to Hicksi | 3 years ago
3 likes

Thats a fail.  Who but you suggested cycling 10 miles to work was representative of a commute?

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jh2727 replied to Hicksi | 3 years ago
6 likes
Hicksi wrote:

How many women cycle more than ten miles each way to work, 52 weeks a year?

How many people commute 10 miles each way?  Certainly not most of the people I know.

Hicksi wrote:

Who here cycles regularly with the weekly shop on the handlebars? I ride around 5000 miles a year but like ALL but a tiny few in my club, I also have a car.

I don't think many people carry their weekly shop on their handlebars. I tend do most of my shopping on foot with a trolley, as it can carry a bit more than my panniers - sometimes I'll take the car but generally I prefer to walk or ride my bike if its something I need to go a bit further for.  How many people actually do weekly shops these days?  I tend to do 2 or 3 smaller shops throughout the week - that way my food is fresher and I waste less (and the only time I could probably fit in a big shop would be at the weekends, when the shops are heaving and the shelves are bare).

I see plenty of people doing their shopping by bike in my local precinct, certainly not mainly fit young brave men - many are pensioners. Sure there are a great deal more who shop by car - but when you look at the amount they're buying, it is often an amount that could be carried in panniers.

My commute is about 5 miles and when I've driven the route at peak time takes about 20 minutes if the traffic isn't abnormally bad. If I'm doing the school run (which I do most mornings), I'd have to factor in 5 minutes walk from the school back to the nearest place I can park the car.  When the traffic is bad, the drive can easily increase from 20 minutes to 40 or 60+ (if there's a crash on the M4, it isn't unusual for every road in Reading to come to a complete stand still).  I doubt that the majority of people in single occupant cars, who I cycle past on my commute, are incapable of cycling to work (assuming that is where they are going).

Motorised transport is prevalent because it is the only option, many people will drive when it isn't even a good option (e.g. your moving at less than walking pace and there's nowhere to park when you get there).  Often the it seems it comes down to habit, convenience and lack of imagination - people get the idea that the only way they can get from place to place is to drive (even when it is a short journey and they have nothing to carry).

Avatar
eburtthebike replied to jh2727 | 3 years ago
1 like
jh2727 wrote:
Hicksi wrote:

How many women cycle more than ten miles each way to work, 52 weeks a year?

How many people commute 10 miles each way?  Certainly not most of the people I know.

Hicksi wrote:

Who here cycles regularly with the weekly shop on the handlebars? I ride around 5000 miles a year but like ALL but a tiny few in my club, I also have a car.

I don't think many people carry their weekly shop on their handlebars. I tend do most of my shopping on foot with a trolley, as it can carry a bit more than my panniers - sometimes I'll take the car but generally I prefer to walk or ride my bike if its something I need to go a bit further for.  How many people actually do weekly shops these days?  I tend to do 2 or 3 smaller shops throughout the week - that way my food is fresher and I waste less (and the only time I could probably fit in a big shop would be at the weekends, when the shops are heaving and the shelves are bare).

I see plenty of people doing their shopping by bike in my local precinct, certainly not mainly fit young brave men - many are pensioners. Sure there are a great deal more who shop by car - but when you look at the amount they're buying, it is often an amount that could be carried in panniers.

My commute is about 5 miles and when I've driven the route at peak time takes about 20 minutes if the traffic isn't abnormally bad. If I'm doing the school run (which I do most mornings), I'd have to factor in 5 minutes walk from the school back to the nearest place I can park the car.  When the traffic is bad, the drive can easily increase from 20 minutes to 40 or 60+ (if there's a crash on the M4, it isn't unusual for every road in Reading to come to a complete stand still).  I doubt that the majority of people in single occupant cars, who I cycle past on my commute, are incapable of cycling to work (assuming that is where they are going).

Motorised transport is prevalent because it is the only option, many people will drive when it isn't even a good option (e.g. your moving at less than walking pace and there's nowhere to park when you get there).  Often the it seems it comes down to habit, convenience and lack of imagination - people get the idea that the only way they can get from place to place is to drive (even when it is a short journey and they have nothing to carry).

I was going to comment about the length, but it's so well argued and relevant that I've bitten my tongue.

Avatar
Trickedem replied to Hicksi | 3 years ago
3 likes
Hicksi wrote:

No, cycling isn't 'the solution', it's actually a crap transport solution.

How many women cycle more than ten miles each way to work, 52 weeks a year? Very, very few.

All the millions poured into cycle lanes and hot air from politicians won't change the fact that cycling as a means of modern transport over any distance is for a very small percentage of people. 

My goodness, you are so completely out of touch. Cycling is probably the most efficient way of moving around in a city and there are plenty of women and men who regularly commute the sort of distances you are talking about and it isn't a small percentage of people either. In 2021 the number is likely to increase further as some people will be reluctant to use public transport.

If you live outside a City, unfortunately everyday activity, location of homes, schools, ameneties etc. and the poor state of public transport makes life without a car very difficult, but this has also encouraged enormous amounts of laziness, with people using their cars for journeys of less than a mile. 

You also talk about millions being poured into cycle lanes. Clearly, this isn't happening in Surrey! And wait till you find out about the Billions being poured into infrastructure for cars.

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Zigster replied to Hicksi | 3 years ago
3 likes

1/3 of London car journeys are under 2km. A further 1/3 are between 2km and 5km.

You're mistaking your knowledge and understanding of chairing a club of "99% male, exceptional, young, tough, brave" sports cyclists with transposed solutions which work for everyone.

As often the case with cycling discussions in the UK, we need a word to differentiate people who cycle as a sport form those who cycle for utility. We have runner and pedestrian for those who get around on foot.

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