Organisers of a major new sporting event have clarified the 100-mile route through West Sussex which will see the closure of a string of roads.
A number of residents have been left angry and confused over plans to stage Velo South - in which 15,000 cyclists will pedal their way through the county - in September.
Villagers in Plaistow and Ifold hit out this week amid fears they would be trapped in their own homes when all roads around their houses are shut for eight hours on the day of the race.
And at a heated meeting in Elsted on Tuesday a number of other residents took representatives of Velo South to task over over the road closures for the cycling event due to be staged on September 23.
Event organisers CSM gave a public presentation at Elsted Village Hall about the loop route stretching from Goodwood to Partridge Green, acknowledging that there would be a ‘degree of inconvenience’ for residents living in or within the closed roads.
But the residents and councillors at the meeting were angry they had not been given a say in the road arrangements which they said would isolate several villages.
Henfield Parish Council has confirmed that Henfield itself will not be included in the route. Parish clerk Kevin Wright said that in February the parish council objected to being included in the Velo South event “when informed - NOT consulted - of the proposed route by Velo South. As a result, Henfield was removed from the circuit.”
Meanwhile, concerned residents took to social media complaining at a lack of information about the event and exactly which roads would be closed. People in Southwater said they had not been informed of the route and questioned the legality of closing roads without public consultation. One added: “Crazy idea, they should use bigger dual carriage roads which could be laned off.”
One woman hit out: “We are on the proposed route and have had no leaflet or any consultation of any kind.”
And another woman said: “Vulnerable people receiving care visits multiple times throughout the day will without doubt be amongst those residents who will be in a precarious position.”
Race organisers CSM Active say they have worked closely with West Sussex County Council, Chichester and Horsham District Councils and parish councils across the route to communicate details about the event and road closures.
A spokesman said more than 162,000 leaflets had been distributed to residents and businesses across the route and roadshows events were being staged.
“Emergency services representatives have been involved in the entire Vélo South planning process and services responding to any kind of emergency will be facilitated by the organisers, managed from the Event Control Room in partnership with emergency service representatives.”
He said organisers could be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.