COUNCIL bosses did not consult on whether hosting a 100-mile cycling event would be a "good idea", a meeting heard this week.

Transport chiefs at Durham County Council have also moved to shut down any suggestions compensation could be paid to businesses who lose out as a result of the planned Vélo North.

The ride, which is predicted to attract about 10,000 amateur athletes, is expected to see roads closed for up to 10 hours in some parts of the county.

And it has prompted fears this could lead to families and workers being left trapped in remote areas, such as Teesdale.

“We want to encourage people to come to County Durham, we want 15,000 people to come to County Durham, we want to sell Teesdale and Weardale,” said Nigel Dodds, the county council’s strategic manager for culture and sport.

He added: “They cannot get to Teesdale on that particular day, but what about the people who then come and revisit because they found out what a fantastic place this is.”

Mr Dodds was defending the event

at a meeting in Middleton-in-Teesdale on Wednesday night

, where he and organisers of Vélo North took questions from the public.

He also admitted the council did not ‘consult prior to the event whether it would be a good idea to host it’.

The county council’s cabinet approved plans to host the 100-mile ride, which will also include a 50-mile route, at a meeting in February.

This included a £250,000 ‘contribution’ to organisers on the expectation more than 40,000 visitors could be attracted to the county in the days before and after the event is staged on September 1.

But business owners at the meeting complained road closures planned for the day will mean they see little benefit from the influx, which they claimed would be concentrated in Durham City, in exchange for their inconvenience.

And when the prospect of cash compensation for those who miss out was raised, Mr Dodds replied: “We won’t compensate businesses for losses during events, we would rather work with businesses to mitigate the effects.”

Matthew Brooke, head of operations at CSM Sport & Entertainment, a sports events company headed by ex-Olympic champion and athletics boss Lord Seb Coe, claimed the event ‘won’t be profitable for a good few years’.

But he also left the door open to future rides being altered to provide more benefits to rural communities.

Plans were also outlined for measures to help families and workers with travel, such as motorbike escorts and dedicated crossing points along the route.

There was also anger there had not been more consultation ahead of plans being made public.

Conservative county councillor Ted Henderson said: “We were disgusted that we [as councillors] didn’t know until the leaflets dropped through the door what was going on.

“We had meetings with the group last week and we’ve told them exactly how we feel.

“The only people who will profitis Durham City itself – the dale won’t.”