Box Hill is in the news again this week and once more it’s for all the wrong reasons. It has certainly been a bad year for bike riders at this Surrey cycling hotspot where there is now a growing sense of persecution.

First came the squeeze on spectators for the Olympic test event. Whereas we had originally imagined Tour de France-style crowds on the famous zig-zag bends, just 3,400 fans were allowed inside the barriers to cheer the riders. Ridiculous.

Outrage two came as the result of Surrey Police’s decision to target cyclists in the Box Hill area and fine riders £1,000 for ‘antisocial cycling’.

Now the National Trust is stepping up its policy of charging organisers for using Box Hill. With costs increased to as much as £2,000 per sportive, many rides have moved elsewhere.

There’s no shortage of hills in the North Downs, but it isn’t right that organised events are being priced off the hill, particularly considering the amount of revenue generated by cyclists at the National Trust’s own cafe at the top of the hill.

The place is packed with people wearing Lycra all week – a reasonable estimate would be that cyclists bring in £4,000 of revenue just at the weekend. The National Trust should recognise this loyal support, not seek to exploit it.

The full article on Box Hill’s sportive fees is in this week’s issue of Cycling Weekly magazine.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly

Related links
Surrey Police go after inconsiderate cyclists
Box Hill declared limited access for Olympic road race

  • stuart

    As i live just 18 miles from Box hill and use it as one of my training routes, i can testify to the massive use of the cafe by cyclists… so there is a simple answer….boycott the cafe, if they (the national trust) wants to charge cyclists in this way then hit them back financially, and it will be quite a hit if everyone participates. Can anyone start up a twitter campaign or hashtag for it…

  • Gordon

    Can I ask what anti-social cycling is, and how it merits a fine of 1,000 pounds when doing 50 mph in a 30 mph zone gets you a 60 quid fine?

    4,000 can easily spent in Box Hill of a weekend. 50 cyclists an hour spending a fiver on a nice Saturday and Sunday at the cafe at the top will get that, and even on a bad day I haven’t seen less than that in busy times.

  • jack arnold

    Just where is this £4000 spent? The fact is the area is just not large enough for all this action and not all cycists are considerate . I speak as a cyclist of some 50 years.

  • Andrew Bell

    No don’t come to Yorkshire, let’s keep the hills for ourselves!


    Cycling is supposed to be a sport for the people but the Olympics are making it solely for a very lucky few. Forget Box Hill, come to Yorkshire.