Motorists fall foul of London-Surrey Cycle Classic

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Yesterday's dress rehearsal for next year's Olympic bike race might have had the perfect result for Team GB (Mark Cavendish won) but some British motorists were less than impressed with the extensive road closures required to hold the event.

Despite extensive advertising to warn locals of the 87-mile route, the sheer size of the London-Surrey Cycle Classic meant that in some places traffic gridlock was seemingly unavoidable as drivers struggled with unfamiliar diversions.


The problems were not helped by private security firm staff that had been bussed in from other parts of the country to perform the duties of race stewards, but had no knowledge of the surrounding roads.

One unnamed steward in south-west London told the Independent that he had not been given a map and was not able to properly help frustrated motorists with an alternative route.

The chaotic situation was repeated across affected parts of the capital, where short journeys around Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, Wandsworth, Richmond and Kingston were said to take hours rather than minutes.

London Mayor, Boris Johnson conceded that there had been 'difficulties' and said his office would work with Transport for London to ensure that lessons had been learnt.

Event organisers echoed the Mayor's comments, but insisted the day was a success and that the majority of residents had heeded pre-race warnings to avoid the route or seek alternative forms of transport.