Surrey

Olympic cycle route row at Box Hill sparks police patrols

  • 17 November 2011
  • From the section Surrey
Cyclist on Box Hill
The Box Hill beauty spot is on the route of the 2012 London Olympic cycling road race

Tensions between drivers and bike riders using the 2012 Olympic cycling route through Surrey have prompted extra police patrols.

Residents near Box Hill, which will form part of the London Games' cycling road race course, said the extra riders were causing a nuisance.

Surrey Police said there had been a "significant" increase in cyclists along the A25 and at Box Hill.

Redhill Cycling Club said it was a leisure route.

"We are taking any community concerns very seriously," said Sgt Andy Rundle.

Police said many more amateur and leisure cyclists were using the Box Hill race route, particularly at weekends.

Many are from local organised clubs whose riders cycle frequently around Surrey but there are also thought to be many from out of the area.

Several accidents have taken place at the beauty spot.

'Leisurely zig zag'

Mr Rundle said there had been a dedicated car and bicycle police patrol at Box Hill for a number of weeks.

"This isn't an issue solely of cyclists but an issue of increased visitors to Box Hill full stop," he said.

"We are stopping motorists and cyclists and making sure that all road users are mindful that they are likely to encounter increased numbers of cyclists.

"It is a challenge the local police have to rise to and make sure that everyone is considerate of every other road user."

Residents told the BBC some cyclists were using the road two or three abreast, were riding in the middle of the road and were aggressive to drivers trying to overtake.

Adrian Webb, chairman of Redhill Cycling Club, said cycling two abreast was allowed under the Highway Code if it was safe.

"Box Hill is not on a main arterial route. It is a leisurely zig zag road up to a small village and a National Trust outlook so it should not be impeding anybody's way," he said.

"If cyclists are aggressive, that is inexcusable."

He said cyclists were in the middle of the road to avoid potholes, which could cause a rider to come off a bike.

"Cyclists are traffic as well," he said.

"That is a leisure route and people should be able to cycle up there.

"This is a partnership between cyclists and motorists. The two have to work together."

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