Public meeting to discuss impact of cycle event road closures on rural Teesdale

The Northern Echo: PUBLIC MEETING: Residents fear there will be much disruption caused by road closures during the Etape Pennines cycling event PUBLIC MEETING: Residents fear there will be much disruption caused by road closures during the Etape Pennines cycling event

ORGANISERS of a major cycling event will be asked to rethink road closure plans which residents claim will cause huge disruption in rural County Durham during the first weekend of the school summer holidays.

More than 2,000 cyclists will take part in the Etape Pennines on Sunday, July 20, which follows a 60-mile course through Teesdale and Weardale, starting and finishing in Barnard Castle.

However, event organisers IMG Challenger World, backed by Durham County Council, plans to have a series of road closures in place throughout the day.

A public meeting to discuss the road closures has been organised for 7pm on Wednesday, June 11, at the village hall in Eggleston, near Barnard Castle.

Ted Henderson, chairman of Eggleston Parish Council, said residents and businesses of surrounding villages had a number of concerns.

“There will be a lot of disruption. Teesdale is going to be locked off from Weardale, Barnard Castle and Staindrop from about 7am until after 2pm,” he said.

“This is the first Sunday of the school summer holidays and people trying to get to caravans and B&Bs are not going to get there.

“The businesses are up in arms – people can’t get to cafes, restaurants and pubs for lunch.”

Mr Henderson added: “The idea of this race is that it was to be held in October to extend the tourist season. July is the height of the tourist season.”

Durham County Council’s head of culture and sport, Steve Howell, has agreed to attend the public meeting and Mr Henderson said representatives of IMG Chellengers World had been invited, although a reply had not yet been received.

“I am hoping we will be able to convince them there is no need to close the roads completely for the length of time they are going to be closed.

“Other cycling events have rolling road closures that do not affect anyone else.”

He added: “I am sure if they really put their mind to it, then it could be done.”

IMG Challenger World brought the date of the event forward following feedback from cyclists who took part last year, after they said they would prefer the better weather conditions.

The organisers also say they work closely with Durham County Council to review road closure timings and minimise the impact on the local community.

Full details of the planned road closures are online at www.etapepennines.co.uk

Comments (5)

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6:26am Thu 15 May 14

moxie34th says...

..We have this blockage every year ! Branksome, in Darlington, is half paralysed for a similar length of time .... wish they would change venue !!
..We have this blockage every year ! Branksome, in Darlington, is half paralysed for a similar length of time .... wish they would change venue !! moxie34th
  • Score: -2

6:27am Thu 15 May 14

moxie34th says...

..We have this blockage every year ! Branksome, in Darlington, is half paralysed for a similar length of time .... wish they would change venue !!
..We have this blockage every year ! Branksome, in Darlington, is half paralysed for a similar length of time .... wish they would change venue !! moxie34th
  • Score: -9

9:39am Thu 15 May 14

JetMorgan says...

Road Closures are also to be expected during the Isle of Man Cycling Week. People there plan ahead, and the Local Economy doesn't suffer as the Cycling Events draw in LOTS of people into the Island. Try and THINK about the GOOD it can do for the area, and NOT just a few hours of road closures.
Road Closures are also to be expected during the Isle of Man Cycling Week. People there plan ahead, and the Local Economy doesn't suffer as the Cycling Events draw in LOTS of people into the Island. Try and THINK about the GOOD it can do for the area, and NOT just a few hours of road closures. JetMorgan
  • Score: 5

12:01pm Thu 15 May 14

studio says...

Why not just move it to somewhere where the residents and more importantly business`s appreciate the fact they are visiting. 2000 riders equates to alot of family and support, which inturn means lots of money to be made.

There really is no pleasing some people, make alternative arrangements for guests and visitors, do your shopping a day early, how hard is that? and before you all have a go, I live in Barnard castle! Totally agree with the comment above, look at how other towns, cities and countries cope with these such events and reap the rewards.

Apologies for the rant, but i really do think people have got nothing better to do!
Why not just move it to somewhere where the residents and more importantly business`s appreciate the fact they are visiting. 2000 riders equates to alot of family and support, which inturn means lots of money to be made. There really is no pleasing some people, make alternative arrangements for guests and visitors, do your shopping a day early, how hard is that? and before you all have a go, I live in Barnard castle! Totally agree with the comment above, look at how other towns, cities and countries cope with these such events and reap the rewards. Apologies for the rant, but i really do think people have got nothing better to do! studio
  • Score: 8

1:17pm Thu 15 May 14

grandmab says...

If they are moving the event to July for better weather maybe some one should tell them there is no guarantee. British weather is at best unpredictable at any time of year. I remember one summer it rained for six weeks every single day, downpours from mid July on. October on the other hand was glorious. One year the only nice month was March. Good luck to them. I find it's best to plan your event and just carry on regardless.
If they are moving the event to July for better weather maybe some one should tell them there is no guarantee. British weather is at best unpredictable at any time of year. I remember one summer it rained for six weeks every single day, downpours from mid July on. October on the other hand was glorious. One year the only nice month was March. Good luck to them. I find it's best to plan your event and just carry on regardless. grandmab
  • Score: 0

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