London 2012: Surrey residents urged to plan ahead for cycle road races

Road closed sign
Image caption Residents are urged to take note of the signs ahead of the road races

The countdown to the Olympic cycle road race in Surrey is gathering momentum with residents being urged to be prepared and plan ahead for the event.

The men's race is on 28 July, with the women's the following day, and the cycling time trials on 1 August.

Informative signs are going up across the county and on the route, along with adverts on local buses and bus stops.

Councillor Helyn Clack said there would be a lot of closed roads and disruption and it would be hard to get around.

Surrey County Council's cabinet member for community services and the 2012 Games said: "It's a huge job which we are creating, and it's a massive Olympic venue."

The road race, which is on the opening weekend of the Olympics, takes cyclists from the Mall, through west London and then out to Surrey and back, and includes a 9.6-mile (15.5km) circuit around Box Hill.

Roads checked

Ms Clack said the cycle race was one of the most complex challenges ever tackled by the council, and had involved a great deal of work, with safety being the main concern.

The cycle route is also being constantly checked for damage, and road repairs will be carried out right up until the start of the event.

Ms Clack urged residents to visit Go Surrey where there is a timetable showing when the cyclists are expected to pass through, and also asked people to think about whether or not to bring children along as there would be long periods of waiting.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to watch the races, which will be free except for the ticketed area at Box Hill.

More trains and extra carriages are being laid on by Southern Railway to cope with the extra demand expected, though capacity will be limited, Ms Clack said.

She urged people to avoid driving in the area, and said road closures would start from 04:00 BST on 28 July.

"We hope to start opening the roads again about three hours after the last Olympic road support vehicle has gone through, but it could be longer than that.

"Safety is the main concern - we will be working with the police and Locog," she said.

Five thousand stewards, provided by the London 2012 organiser, will be positioned along the cycle route, and there will also be nearly 500 Surrey ambassadors with local knowledge to help visitors.

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