Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to watch the Olympic road races in Surrey this weekend as cycling fever mounts on the back of Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France win.
Mark Cavendish also made history as he claimed a fourth consecutive final-stage victory in Paris before turning his attention to securing Olympic glory on Surrey’s roads.
Helyn Clack, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services and the 2012 Games, said: “Mark Cavendish could win Team GB’s first gold medal this weekend and just a few days later Bradley Wiggins is tipped to win the time trial, both on Surrey’s roads, so we’re expecting huge crowds.
“We’re urging people to be prepared and plan ahead to enjoy these Olympic events in the county. That will help us minimise the inevitable disruption that staging events of this size will bring.
“It’s a big job. We have to create the biggest venues of the Games from scratch and 42 miles of roadside barriers have already started to be stacked around the road race route.
“There’ll be road closures and parking restrictions along the route on event days, so we’re asking people to avoid driving in the area if at all possible. If you want to catch the action, staying local and walking is the best option.
“Journeys will take longer than usual and public transport will be busier. We’ve provided all the information people need to plan their journeys in advance at gosurrey.info and we would urge everyone to use it.
“But we need to remember that the Games have already brought huge economic, cultural and sporting benefits to the county with local firms benefitting to the tune of approximately £1billion. And it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to watch Olympic history unfold literally on our doorsteps. With some planning and foresight we can all enjoy it.”
Final newsletters are being sent to residents within 100 metres of the event routes this week which include information about road closures, approximate race timings and other tips for how to plan ahead.
Extensive road closures and parking restrictions will be in place around the cycle routes from the early hours of the morning this weekend.
The aim is to reopen most roads three hours after the last race vehicle passes. However, it is expected to take longer in areas where there will be larger crowds such as around Dorking town centre, Hampton Court, Leatherhead town centre and Box Hill.
People are being encouraged to use public transport where possible. Extra trains and carriages will be put on but some bus services will be suspended and most trains won’t allow bikes.
Visit www.gosurrey.info for more information on the Olympic Games in Surrey.
Journalists requiring more information, can contact Surrey County Council media officer Nicole Herlihy on 020 8541 8039 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
Surrey will host the men’s Olympic cycling road race on 28 July, the women’s road race on 29 July and the road cycling time trials on 1 August.