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Cycling plans: Lib Dems raise concerns whilst welcoming improvements

December 17, 2013 12:54 PM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems

cyclingCouncillor Hazel Watson (Dorking Hills), the Leader of the Liberal Democrat Opposition on Surrey County Council, has welcomed a number of Surrey County Council Cabinet's decisions about major cycling events and day to day cycling sportives in Surrey, but has expressed disappointment and concern over plans for Dorking and Westcott.

"I am pleased that the decisions about the cycling strategy and about the RideLondon events have been made in public for everyone to see. This is a major improvement on the previous decisions that were made behind closed doors.

"There has to be an appropriate balance between the rights of cyclists to use our roads and the rights of residents living in our area. The County Council is starting to acknowledge the adverse impact that major road closed events have on Surrey residents and businesses. Their decision to restrict closed road events to one per road per year for a major event is the right way forward.

"Across most of the route for the RideLondon event in 2014 steps have been taken to minimise the length of road closures to reduce the disruption to residents and businesses, this is a big improvement on the 2013 event.

"However, I am very disappointed that the County Council has not listened to the concerns of residents and businesses in Dorking and Westcott who will find themselves land locked for very extended periods. The needs of residents and businesses in these areas must be of the highest priority.

"The County Council has committed to lobby central government to regulate sportives, which are not races and therefore have no requirement to notify the Police or highways. I welcome this because it would help to prevent clashing events with risks to all road users and have an adverse effect on local communities.

"This year will be a test to see if Surrey County Council learnt the lessons from the 2013 event, including access for local residents and emergency services. I will be monitoring progress closely and working with local residents and businesses to help ensure any concerns are addressed."