A few years back I’d have been hard put to name a professional cyclist, let alone a British one and now the names seem to trip off the tongue – Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish to name but two. And these two stellar performers will be seen in the borough in a matter of weeks and they won’t be alone.
Both will be part of a 150-strong field of professional cyclists taking part in the Prudential RideLondon Classic on Sunday 2 August. If that’s not enough to whet the appetite there will also be the small matter of over 25,000 amateur cyclists riding in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on the same day, and along the same route, as the professionals.
It’s the third year running that these intrepid amateurs and top-flight pros have come through the borough and while both events provide excitement and spectacle, and the amateurs raise literally millions of pounds for good causes, there will be major disruption to traffic and public transport.
Put simply, you can’t close over 100 miles of road from east London out to Box Hill in Surrey without it having quite an impact.
The advice from the event organisers and TfL is to plan ahead by familiarising yourself with the route and road closure timings.
If you happen to be a Chelsea supporter heading over to Wembley for the football season’s curtain raiser, the Community Shield, which is taking place on the same day, you will need to plan your travel carefully to avoid what could be long delays on the roads.
The cyclists’ route through Kensington and Chelsea will be the same as last year for both events.
Both groups of riders will enter the Royal Borough at Knightsbridge and then head, via Brompton Road, to the Cromwell Road (A4) before continuing westwards into Hammersmith. They will return later in the day via King’s Road, Ashburnham Road, Cremorne Road, Cheyne Walk and Chelsea Embankment where they leave the borough for a finish on The Mall.
To enable the event to pass off safely there will be significant road closures across London and in Surrey. It is expected that roads will close from 5am on Sunday 2 August on the outbound route, with an estimated reopening time of 3pm. Closures on the return route will begin from 7am and it is hoped to be able to reopen roads by about 8pm.
Further information about the event and the route and confirmation of road closure and reopening times can be found at www.PrudentialRideLondon.co.uk/roadclosures