Road Closure FAQs

If your question isn’t answered below, please get in touch with our Route Team at route@velosouth.com or by calling 01243 935 359 where you can leave a voicemail that we can respond to.

What are the benefits of Vélo South?

Vélo South is one of only two cycling events in the UK in 2018 that offer participants the thrill of covering the magical 100-mile distance on a closed road route – the ultimate experience for an amateur rider.

The event is privately funded which covers all aspects of its staging. There is no request for financial support from West Sussex and its public finances to deliver the event. We are investing in building something that we hope will become a celebrated annual event.

As well as being a great experience for the event’s 15,000 participants, Vélo South brings many benefits to the local area.

· Economic: Based on previous experience, up to 50% of non-local riders will book local hotel accommodation the night before the event. In addition, each rider will on average have around 2 spectators accompanying them, all of whom will spend money in the county. We plan to further dial up the economic impact by promoting, via the Vélo South website and PR activity, relevant businesses, hotels and restaurants in the county.

· Profile: Vélo South will be an opportunity to showcase West Sussex and its surrounding areas to visitors in the run up to, during and after the event. We expect around half of our 15,000 riders to come from outside of the region and therefore West Sussex will be introduced to a whole new audience.

· Health & Wellbeing: In line with the objectives of West Sussex County Council, and Chichester and Horsham District Councils, Vélo South aims to inspire more people to cycle by encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle. Post-event rider surveys at Vélo events indicate that 62% of participants were inspired to cycle more regularly and 34% said they would replace short car journeys with their bike.

· Community: Vélo South is anticipated to be a great spectacle and an opportunity for communities to support friends and family and engage with event activations in the local area.
Examples of local support from previous events included a village that put on a bike festival, local pubs holding micro events with music and food, restaurants and shops offering event day discounts to riders, huge family engagement (food stands, cake sales in driveways etc.) and numerous opportunities for businesses to partake in the event directly, cross promote and also fundraise.

· Charity: We expect the riders to raise in the region of £2 million for local and national good causes, including our four principle charity partners Alzheimer’s Society, British Heart Foundation, Age UK West Sussex and Restart Rugby. This will make Vélo South one of the most successful charitable sporting events of 2018.

What is West Sussex County Council's involvement?

West Sussex County Council (WSCC) has been asked by CSM Active to make an order that in effect closes the roads to all traffic except the event on the day. A series of road closures will then be implemented along the route during the day and lifted once the cyclists have passed by. Sections of the route will be open again to all traffic by 11am with the last sections of the route opening to traffic by around 7pm. The Council’s Highways Team received a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) application for this event from CSM that has been accepted in principal. The route is subject to on-going discussion and engagement with stakeholders as part of the Safety Advisory Group (SAG) process to ensure it is suitable and having due regard to the safety and convenience of alternative routes suitable for traffic that will be affected by the Order. Any access issues and the objections of those who may be affected must be considered by WSCC – just like the many other temporary road closures that are requested every year by those organising community events. Please click here for details of WSCC’s temporary road closure process and costs.

What is a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO)?

Legally a TTRO can be made restricting or prohibiting traffic on a road to facilitate the holding of an event, to enable members of the public to watch an event or reduce disruption to traffic likely to be caused by an event. The procedural regulations for the TTRO require that intention to make the legal Order is formally advertised by way of a statutory notice published 28 days before an event takes place. This is a noticing procedure rather than a consultation and a subsequent statutory notice will be published by WSCC confirming the proposed Order has been made.

Why are road closures required?

Due to the scale and numbers participating in Vélo South, it is necessary to implement road closures across the full route to facilitate the safe passage of the participants and to ensure the safety of residents and businesses. These are put in place and removed in sections to minimise the length of time the roads are closed. The road closures are carefully considered and selected through a partnership of all local authorities, emergency services, and transport operators to minimise the inconveniences of the necessary road closures. Full details of all closures and their timings will be published in due course once finalised.

How will West Sussex businesses and residents be impacted?

The Vélo South Route Team will continue right up to event day to help businesses and residents who get in touch with any access challenges they face and help them plan for the event day. This includes providing alternative routes and providing additional resource to those individuals who need to cross or travel along the route in a motor vehicle whilst the road closures are in effect, such as care providers, farmers, equine centres or vets. In order to provide advice, the team need to be contacted with specific information on the route needing to be taken. They can be contacted on route@velosouth.com or by answer machine on 01243 935359. From experience, solutions can be found for the vast majority of access issues raised.

In the case of an emergency, the priority immediately becomes that of the emergency services. In order to provide a safe and quick passing of any emergency vehicle, the stewards and event professionals will manage the movement of the cyclists on the route accordingly. In addition to this, participants will be briefed in advance of the event on the protocol if they see or hear an emergency vehicle approaching and should always be alert.

All emergency services have been involved with every step of the planning of this event and are fully satisfied that they can operate as normal with the plans in place.

What about local access and parking concerns?

Vélo South have created a number of local access plans for areas along the route with restricted access. These plans aim to reduce the time in which the road closures will affect those who live in their vicinity. They are detailed plans that will be managed by professional staff on the day of the event and have now been agreed and communicated to the parishes that are affected. They include Ashington, Fernhurst, Funtington, Hole Street and Wiston, Ifold, Itchingfield, Lavant, Lordington, Loxwood, Milland, Southwater and Partridge Green. Further work has been undertaken to improve place local access on the north side of the route, including the addition of an additional set of traffic lights on the A283.

Parking information has been circulated and leaflets will be placed on vehicles along the route leading up to the event to ensure that residents are fully aware of the restrictions and alternative parking available to them in their location on the day.

There are a number of factors that are taken into consideration during the planning of these routes and the safety of all users must take precedence.

How can people get around the road closures?

Pedestrian access is not restricted during the event however pedestrians are advised to take the utmost care when crossing the route and use an existing crossing point where available; this will normally be an existing zebra crossing. If a pedestrian is unsure as the suitability of a crossing location they can ask an event steward for assistance. For locals travelling by bicycle, it is recommended to dismount at the road closure and take care when crossing the route, again using an existing crossing point where available.

It will not be possible to cross or drive along the route in a vehicle. The easiest way to navigate around the road closures will be to use Google maps or a satellite enabled/live update GPS. The route and road closures will be updated live into these systems on the day of the event.

We strongly recommend where possible to plan any journeys ahead of time. A full interactive route map and travel advice will be available on our website a number of months ahead of the event to allow plenty of time for planning. In some instances, for residents living very close to the route, parking a short distance away ahead of the road closures may be advisable in order to make a particular journey without a detour.

For anyone struggling to navigate the road closures, find a route, or with any other queries, the Vélo Route team are available to assist and are contactable by email (route@velosouth.com) or answering-machine service (01243 935 359) in the lead up to the event. On the day of the event a hotline number will also be in operation.

How will parking be affected by the road closures?

There will be some parking restrictions in place along the event route in order to ensure the safety of participants, the general public and the vehicles in question. Areas with restricted parking will be signed and coned in advance of the event and vehicles affected will be flyered in the fortnight before the event to ensure that they are aware. If you usually park on a road used for the event and are in one of the affected areas, we ask if you’d kindly help us by moving your vehicle the night before. Any cars parked in these areas may be towed to a nearby street off-route if still in situ after 00:01 on Sunday 23rd September in order to ensure a safe route ahead of the event. For those affected we advise using local parking locations, your own driveway or alternative side roads clear of the route.

How will the road closures affect local transport such as buses or trains?

Vélo South is working with all local transport providers to assist them in planning and to communicate any affected services. Some local buses may run to an amended timetable or follow an amended route. This information will be available on bus companies’ websites ahead of the event – please see links below.

Arriva: Normal Sunday bus services are not affected.

Metro: Read more information on their website and on their Facebook page.

Stagecoach: Find more information on their website now.

How will you inform local people about the event?

Vélo South recognises that widespread communication of the event and its associated road closures are crucial to the success of the event. Full details will be published at the earliest date to ensure ample time to plan ahead. Two major leaflet drops will take place to all addresses in close proximity to the route and within the event footprint and will detail key information to help people best plan their day and any travel movements.

Event information will be further distributed through local community mediums, such as on local noticeboards and newsletters, through local forums and associations and in selected local community halls and businesses. We also plan to work with local media to ensure information is as widely disseminated as possible.

Final notification will occur from 2 weeks prior to the event in the form of advanced warning signage, strategically placed through the event’s footprint. This we hope will serve as a timely reminder of the road closures and what to expect.

How has the event been publicised?

The event has been advertised across West Sussex in the press, on the radio, on TV and via social media. In addition over 20 local engagement meetings have been held and promotional leaflets were distributed in spring 2018 to 160,000 residents and businesses along the route. This first leaflet drop was carried out three times due to a number of residents reporting that they had not received a leaflet. Impacted services and businesses have been contacted by telephone or email and over 1,000 enquiries have now been answered. On 13th August CSM Active commenced a second round of leaflet drops, which contain specific access plans for impacted towns and villages along the route. Further press activity is planned prior to the event to boost awareness.

Closer to the event date signs will be erected on the route to warn motorists of the upcoming road closures

How do you ensure the general safety of the event and of local people?

Safety is a primary focus of this event from both a participant and general public perspective and is at the forefront of decision making throughout the planning process. Subject to the scrutiny of ‘Safety Advisory Groups’, Vélo South engages with Local Authority representatives, Emergency Services and other key stakeholders on all safety planning aspects. Appropriate infrastructure, signage or stewarding will be employed across the route and road closures to mitigate risk to both participants and locals.

Vélo South will be managed by over 1,200 staff on the day of the event. This includes event professionals, the emergency services, professional stewards, security, motorcycle marshals and volunteers.

Approximately 700 professional stewards and security personnel will form part of the management of the route on the event day. They will be positioned at all road closure junctions and can provide information on how to navigate around the closures.

West Sussex highways will be carrying out a number of inspections of the route prior to the event and any defects found that meet the intervention levels will be rectified to ensure that the roads are safe.

How will access for emergency services work?

All of the Emergency Services are fully engaged throughout the planning process, and are in attendance at all meetings including safety meetings. They will have a presence in the Event Control Room on the day of the event to ensure their response needs are maintained and unobstructed.

Emergency Services will operate as usual on the day of the event and emergency services vehicle access will be maintained throughout. The public should use normal protocol, calling 999 or 111 as appropriate in the case of an emergency.

Please note the event has its own medical provider to cover the needs of participants during the event.

How will doctors or vets get access in case of an emergency call-out?

In the case of an emergency where an alternative route is not possible or practicable, we will arrange managed access. Anyone on an emergency call-out should use the event hotline to arrange immediate access.

What facilities will the event put in place for participants?

Vélo South will have both feed stations and water stations along the route, which will provide facilities to support the cyclists. These will include temporary toilets and waste management facilities to ensure that the event does not have an adverse impact on local communities and the environment. These feed and water stations often provide further opportunities for local businesses to benefit from the event. Full cleansing of these sites, their surroundings and the wider route will occur prior to and after the event to ensure that any litter is collected.

What facilities will be put in place for spectators?

A spectator guide is available on our website here. This includes top tips for the day, advice on where to watch the event along the route and travel information.

How can local communities, businesses and residents get involved in the event?

Local communities, businesses and residents are encouraged to get involved with the Vélo South Community Celebration Fund and spectate at the event to support their families, friends and other participants who are cycling. Additionally, there will be opportunities for local residents to volunteer at the event along the route and at the venue. If you are interested in volunteering please email volunteer@velosouth.com.

Businesses can also take part in the event through Business 100. Find out more here.

Get in touch

The Vélo South Route team are available to assist with any enquiries. Please get in touch at route@velosouth.com or by calling 01243 935 359 where you can leave a voicemail that we will respond to.