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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.
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 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 official 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 official crossing point where available.
It will not be possible to cross or drive along the route in a vehicle, unless using the official crossing points. 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 including crossing points 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 or answering-machine service in the lead up to the event. On the day of the event a hotline number will also be in operation.
Phone: 01243 935 359
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 and linked to from the event website ahead of the event.
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 (with the first scheduled for May) 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 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.
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 will be available on the event website as the event approaches. This will include advice on where to watch the event along the route, local business promotions / offers and other useful 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 Vélo South 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
Phone: 01243 935 359