ORGANISERS of major cycling event have urged business and residents who may be affected by the ride to “help us help you”.

Durham County Council and CSM Sport & Entertainment were responding to continued anger over the disruption Vélo North is expected to cause, as well as the lack of consultation ahead of the route going public.

The ride which is predicted to attract up to 15,000 amateur athletes is expected to see roads closed for up to 10 hours on some parts of the county on Sunday, September 1.

Nigel Dodds, the council’s strategic manager for culture and sport, said: “On the question of consultation, when planning an event with a route of 100 miles and 50 miles and closing roads we need to sit down and look at wider network and how that effects transport across the county.

"We need to find a route that is practical and satisfies the demands of emergency services. We need to come up with that and share that and then invite feedback.”

Mr Dodds said since the initial letter-drop about the route, some changes had been made in road closure times in Teesdale.

He added, businesses would not be compensated for losses, adding: “We would rather work with businesses to mitigate the losses.”

Matthew Brooke, head of operations at CSM said: “Our message is help us to help you.

“If we understand the concerns we than can help facilitate that, make plans and to try ensure it is business as usual, or as close as usual. We want to work together to maximise the benefit of that day for everyone. For some we are reaching out to talk about community-based events.”

Tyrone Robson of the Golden Lion at St John’s Chapel, Weardale, said: “I am not happy with the situation. It is going to impact on our Sunday lunch trade.

“We haven’t had any consultation at all. All I received was a poster with the road closure and the times. I didn’t know anything about it before that.”

Brian Irwin of the Cross Keys, in nearby Eastgate, said: “I wasn’t consulted about it from a start. The road closure shuts between 30 and 60 lunches down pretty much straight away.

“It would have been nice to have public notice about it first and have the chance to at least air our views.”

Colin Stubbs from the Hare and Hounds, in neighbouring Westgate, added: “It is going to affect a lot of businesses. The Sunday lunch trade is the busiest trade of the week.”

Paul Routledge of Hamsterley said: “They are closing the road that comes right through the middle of the village from 6.45am to 3.30pm.

“It effectively means that everyone who lives on the west end of the village can’t get in or out. I haven't got objections to the ride, but to the fact they are closing the roads for so long and don't appear to be doing anything about it."

Objectors have also questioned why more minor roads could not be used. Organisers say alternative side roads were not deemed suitable for the safety of riders, because they are too narrow.

Anyone wishing to contact the organisers should contact route@velonorth.com.