Comment: Weather triumphs where people power fails to kill off Velo South

Velo South
Velo South

Velo South - a major cycling event around West Sussex - promised so much.

It was a great way to put our national park on the map; to celebrate clean air and exercise in an era where obesity and lack of fitness threaten to be the biggest killers.

But it got off to the worst possible of starts.

While some residents loved the idea many others were furious at the lack of consultation and the impact of road closures.

They worried that emergency services wouldn’t get through in the event of an incident - quite apart from the inconvenience on the lives of people going about their every day business.

Public protests followed, not least on social media, where the language got increasingly personal and intimidating.

Finally, five residents sought a legal challenge to try to halt the event.

But it was neither protest nor the law which finally put a spoke in the wheel.

The good, old British weather has called time on Velo South 2018.

The county council must now take careful stock with the event organisers of all the comments before a commitment is made to an event in 2019.

Velo South could be terrific - not only a wonderful spectacle but a real encouragement to those seeking a healthier way of life.

But next time, if there is a next time, it must be planned in a way that brings the community with it.

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Reaction to the cancellation in our live blog

BREAKING NEWS: Velo South cancelled