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28,000 cyclists expected in Essex in September

Velo Essex expects a series of road closures for each section of the route.

28,000 cyclists are expected to participate in a cycling event in North Essex later this year.

Velo Essex will comprise a family ride, 50-mile ride and 100-mile ride on September 20th - forming part of one of the largest cycling events in Europe.

Organisers expect a series of road closures for each section of the route.

It is all set to start in Hylands Park in Chelmsford, before heading through the Rodings, Dunmow, Bardfield and Saffron Walden.

The route will return though Finchingfield, Toppesfield, Wethersfield, Braintree, Felsted and back in Chelmsford, to finish at Hylands Park.

The Council plans to spend £50,000 on leafleting, to minimise disruption and ensure residents are well-briefed.

Parking on the road will probably not be allowed while the traffic orders are in place.

It is based on an event that has run in Birmingham since 2017, which proved controversial due to road closures being implemented for hours.

There were reports that motorists drove through cordons and mounted the pavement while cyclists were racing.

Velo Essex - the county's biggest ever mass-participation event - is now being planned for each of the next five years and there are hopes Essex could host a professional road race in future years.

Essex County Council (ECC) insists that participants will be safe.

It says the benefits of the event support its cycling strategy, with the aim of encouraging more local residents to be physically active.

A cabinet report - published on Friday (07/02/20) - said: “The provision of the family ride will ensure that all ages and abilities have the opportunity to ride on closed roads in a safe way.

“Children and young people will be exposed and inspired to the benefits of cycling and given a chance to change behaviour and form good habits while young.

"The event will help in promoting the use of quieter roads and dedicated cycle facilities and promote cycling as a sustainable and healthy means of transport.”

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