Concerns cycle event road closures may impact trade

Road closures and times as displayed on the Velo South website
Road closures and times as displayed on the Velo South website

Concerns have been voiced that road closures for a 100-mile cycle event to and from Goodwood could impact on trade.

The company organising Velo South, CSM, is recommending travelling via the A27 to the event, which will close access out of Chichester onto the A285 towards Petworth and the B2146 to Compton, the latter for more than nine hours.

Jon Ward, from Singleton, said the closures would affect the whole of the Lavant valley area and into the north of the district, with pubs hit by a loss of Sunday trade from passing visitors and community services disrupted.

He said: “Where we are in the southern part of the loop, our roads are closed on the east and less than an hour later on the west, because the really quick guys will do 100 miles in three or so hours.

“How are all the carers going to get in to people who need them two or three times a day, where are the meals on wheels going to come from, how are the doctors going to come out?”

Deputy manager of The Fox Goes Free pub at Charlton, Sharon Ford, said she had not been informed of the event.

She said it could potentially affect the business, just to the north of the racecourse, as customers already tended to steer clear of the area during the Festival of Speed to avoid traffic.

CSM director Richard Relton said he hoped the event would ‘boost both tourism and the economy’ of the West Sussex region.

He said those with concerns should email route@velosouth.com and the company would ‘address concerns and facilitate access wherever possible’.

CSM is also advising its 15,000 participants due on the Sunday to park in Chichester and the surrounding area if they missed out on parking spaces at the racecourse.

Mr Relton said around 10,500 spaces were available at Goodwood, with another 3,000 parking spaces in reserve.

A Chichester District Council spokesperson said it was working with organisers to ensure the event’s success.