Wayne David says the Velothon caused huge disruption and near chaos in his constituency, as businesses were forced to close and residents were unable to use the roads

MP for Caerphilly, Wayne David, has slammed the Velothon Wales event which saw 15,000 cyclists riding though his constituency at the weekend, claiming the ride caused ‘chaos’.

Roads were closed around the 174km route, which caused such consternation among local residents that tacks were laid on the road, causing injuries to riders and damage to cars.

And Mr David (Labour) accepts the good intentions of the race, but would prefer not to see the race return to Caerphilly in future.

The South Wales Argus quote Mr David as saying: “For the people of Caerphilly, [Sunday] was a nightmare. Roads were closed, sometimes before the time on the advertised schedules, and information about the Velothon road closures were not widely distributed.”

“I have had hundreds of people complaining to me about how the Velothon caused huge disruption and near chaos.

“While I appreciate that the Velothon might be good for Wales and a lot of money for charity has been raised, I very much hope that the Velothon will not include Caerphilly in future.”

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Dr Gareth Enticott required surgery after crashing on the tacks, while Alec James tweeted that he hit the deck at 35mph after suffering a puncture in the area.

On the same spot, before the race, several cars suffered flat tyres and one even blew out after driving over the tacks.

It’s not the first incidence of saboteurs sprinkling tacks on the road in South Wales, with several riders suffering punctures on a dangerous descent in the Valleys Velo sportive last October.

Following Mr David’s comments, Newport East MP Jessica Morden added: “It’s wonderful to see so many messages from those taking part in the Velothon appreciating what a wonderful part of the world this is.

“However there are certainly lessons to learn for the organisers and Welsh Government. Clearly the communication strategy could have been improved and I have raised this on behalf of constituents who have contacted me.”

  • Triad 13

    Mr David maybe you should read these comments. The Velothon Wales is an excellent event which I hope one day will lead to the organisers of Tour de France opting to have a stage through South Wales one day.
    Look what it did for Yorkshire!!
    I remember other single mided individuals complaining about the football League Cup, FA Cup and Football League playoff finals being played in Cardiff when Wembley was being built.
    I wonder how much money was brought to the economy of South Wales from this event and how many businesses in your constituency benefitted.

    Events like these have put Wales on the World and European map and can lead to all manor of things in the future

    There are more problems caused by motor vehicles than cyclists and I dont hear you spouting off about that!

  • Stephen Mander

    I love the fact that people have travelled distances to take part in a brilliant bike event,i’d love to cycle round the Welsh countryside..unfortunately the car driven nation we live in rears it’s ugly head even though 90% of the cyclists taking part are actually car drivers the bicycle haters don’t realise this.

  • burttthebike

    So a couple of members of the Association of Bad Drivers get together and send hundreds of complaints via fake email addresses, and this MP is so gullible he falls for it? Time to change the MP.

    The police could do worse than follow the email trail to find the people who laid the tacks.

  • David Bassett

    Two things if Wayn David thinks things were organised so badly, why oh why does he not turn a negative into a positive and help things go better for what sounds like a great day out (weekend). And the second thing if someone was so badly put out he or she had to throw tacks on the road, how did they know they were going to be put out that much, or do some people carry tacks around with them all the time. Me thinks they might have bought them before hand.

  • Hundreds of towns and cities make money every year from cycling coming through. How does an idiot of an MP like this fail to see the potential and turn it into a cash machine. This MP is clearly old style and needs to be updated on how Wales can make a profit from situations like this. What an idiot.

  • Bob

    Not the kind of guy id want as an MP – I may be biased towards cycling but I don’t mind mass groups of people enjoy themselves and having fun, be it a half marathon, going to a pop concert, sportive or whatever, its always well advertised so if it blocks the roads for a while, just take another route & make plans and avoid it, don’t complain coz next time it might be something you want to participate in.

  • satinderahluwalia

    One of the busiest city’s 24/7 closes all roads to do events like the London Prudential 100 in August every year and for the Marathon etc and Caerphilly which needs the tourist dollar has people complaining and endangering lives.
    Sometimes you despair for the idiots and no wonder they voted in this MP useless

  • Paul Dunbar

    The roads in Cardiff were just like most other cities Phil. There never seems to be enough money to repair them. Odd how there is always enough money for the councilors to order double pudding at the expenses paid banquets though.
    But seriously I was blown away by the support on the day and particularly with the audience participation in my annoying shout outs to the crowd.
    We stayed in Caerphilly, base of the most ridiculous man named Wayne David in the world and the support there was tremendous. From the town right up Caerphilly mountain there were people lining the roads applauding and calling out their support.
    Mr David is indeed making a minority (of one maybe) so well publicised that those who may have grumbled in their own back yards were emboldened to take action, dangerous and illegal action against the participants of the ride. The local press are equally at fault for giving the clown so much column space in their journals and weeklys. It seems the whole objection thing was blown up simply in order to create news of its own. Nothing more than scaremongering and scandalising. Disgraceful behaviour from an elected representative to use the media in such a manner. He should be voted out as soon as possible.
    I otherwise had a great day and have preregistered to ride again next year.

  • Phil

    Excellent post. I am a Cardiff resident and took part on Sunday. It was great to see so much support. Please do not be put off by the narrow minded comments of a few. As you say it was one day and had been planned for over a year. There was a lot of information around about the closures with motorists being told to prepare well in advance.
    I am frankly embarrassed by all the negativity that has been put out by the local press.
    It was a great event and long may it continue.
    By the way as most I am a motorist and pay my road fund licence, and apologise for the state of the roads in Cardiff.

  • RH

    If he really did receive a couple of hundred complaints, that is an awful lot of letters/mails/phone calls. And money is not everything, although living in the UK one could be tempted to believe otherwise.

  • Paul Dunbar

    Yeah I got a bit excited there and forgot my gramma. Who is normally lovely by the way.

  • Joel

    Great post, but please, paragraphs.

  • Mark Webster

    How wishy-washy can journalism get! “caused such consternation among local residents that tacks were laid on the road, causing injuries to riders” It is time that such acts are described as what they are. These residents did this deliberately knowing that it would cause tyres to puncture and riders to crash. It is nothing short of attempted manslaughter and should be treated as such.

  • barraob1

    100’s of complaints versus 15,000 cyclists taking part, this chap needs his head sorted, as do the vandals that nearly killed people. Disgusting behaviour that warrants police investigation.

  • Kelly Sarah-Louise Mason

    Well done everyone that took part, we have this awkward thing in most of Wales possibly most of the UK where the MPs speak for a minority of people possibly the 1% of people, miserable as they may be their opinions matter little to all the 99% of people who enjoyed the event. It didn’t matter if you were taking part, volunteering to help or just being a spectator and offering encouragement. A good day was had by all. I was in the crowd among the many people watching and photographing the even and I think the whole vibe of the day was brilliant. Wales honestly relies on such events during the year to boost tourism and attract money to the area. So please don’t be discouraged from entering next year. We want you in Wales. Not only does it boost tourism it boosts morale in Wales, children here are some of the poorest in the whole of the UK so seeing something so positive happen so close to home is a big inspiration for many of the young boys and girls especially as a lot of children have bikes so can relate to the sport already and this lays the foundation of thought for progress. Thank you for a brilliant day or as we say here in Wales, “Diolch yn fawr iawn am dydd fantastic iawn”.

  • Paul Watkins

    Gary, thanks for reminding me….you are right, the support from the locals on Caerphilly Mountain was amazing. That climb came at an advanced stage of the route, and their shouts of encouragement must of helped thousands of cyclists tough it out when they may otherwise of given up and walked. They certainly pushed me up and over the top!

  • Gary Humphreys

    I totally agree with Simon Fox. The support from the locals on Caerphilly Mountain was amazing. My legs were screaming at me to give up but the people along the road side were cheering us all on and it really gave me that extra push to get up to the summit. What a wonderful event to be a part of. I had a fantastic time in some beautiful scenery and it showcased how wonderful the Welsh people are. I will certainly be returning next year.

  • brighty

    I’m a Cardiff resident. Chuffed you had a great time Paul. Please view these idiots as the tiny minority they truly are. Hope you come back next year.

  • Mr_K

    “which caused such consternation among local residents that tacks were laid on the road” – are you serious? This was a criminal act aimed at causing physical injury. Astonishing that a cycling magazine tries to play down a deliberate assault on people on bikes. Appallingly bady written.

  • T Speake

    Having seen the reports of locals complaining about the event I was suprised on Sunday at just how much support there was in every single village we rode through. It was amazing and very welcoming……there was no sign (besides drawing pins in the road) of any ill-feeling. No one waving ‘cyclists go home’ or ‘on your bike cyclist’ banners, no abuse shouted from the sides. Everyone that was out was great and I know it was appreciated by all the riders I was with. All the moaners seem to be missing the actual cause of ‘all this chaos’….it wasn’t the riders, we didnt ask to ride that specific route, it wasn’t even Velothon Wales as they put various route suggestions forward. The people who decided what roads would be closed and what route would be taken was…….your own local council! All local councils had to agree to what roads could and could not be closed. All local police had to agree to what roads could and could not be closed. No one forced them into it, it was thier decision and one that they could have refused if they wanted to. Dont blame the cyclists and spread pins, dont whine at Velothon Wales for picking the route. The final say went to the local councils who ALL AGREED to close the specific roads at the specific times. Its such a shame there is soo much complaining as it was an amazing event to be part of.

    As for Wales classing 2016 as the Year of Adventure in a bid to become the adventure tourism capital of the world………….really? with the attitude that some are showing with regards to bringing adventure tourism in, like a velothon for example? I hope that the small minority of complainers dont ruin what is a beautiful country to live in and enjoy outdoor activities in.

  • Simon Fox

    actually i found the support of bystanders the greatest in Caerphilly, lots of happy cheering people at the roadside. Obviously MP Mr David was not amongst them.
    An MP out of touch with his constituency…what a surprise !

  • matt

    So of the 178,800 (as of 2011) a couple of hundred complaints (and as a politician I assume that was an exaggeration) so he wants to stop it, nice one, I hope the cyclists of Caerphilly vote for someone else next time!
    I came from Nr Gatwick by the way, and spent about £600 over four days!

  • dale

    MP for Caerphilly, Wayne David, a picture of health? i believe not. GET OVER YOURSELF!

  • Anthony Jackson

    There are events all over the country at this time of the year. From Henley Royal Regatta which lasts 5 days and turn Henley into chaos, locals often go on holiday or embrace it. Im sure there are events like Marathons, fun runs, Horse Racing events, Point to point, and those people who are good enough to do it to raise money….. I doubt that major roads are closed off….. Also up here in Nottingham we have Donnington (now Download festival) turning the M1 into a car park for that weekend, I dont hear the locals complaining that much, because it gets filed under FUN!……. People who object to events make me feel sad for them. Their lives must be terrible to feel such anger toward any large event held local to them

  • Beats

    How short sighted of the MP, I rode on Sunday and my road was cut off for the day. It was an amazing event, most of my village were out supporting the cyclists, even the non cyclists. Most said how good it was to use the car and that it gave the village a purpose to get out and support a positive event. I am sure some of the businesses that were impacted for the day could now maximise the opportunity that they are on the route and appeal to cyclists, it would not be hard for a garden centre to start selling drinks and snacks and advertising this to cyclists. Focus on the positives not the negatives.

  • Andrew Morris

    Well said.

    I took part. 5 of us stayed in Cardiff for 2 nights. Spent our cash and had an amazing time and felt really welcome. seen some suggestions that part of the entrance fee could go to local charities to ensure not just Cardiff benefits which I think would be a great idea.

    Lessons am sure can be learnt but that is the same with every event isn’t it?

  • Paul Dunbar

    1 day. That was all. I traveled down from Merseyside and every year for the past heck knows how long our local roads are closed for the Grand National at Aintree. This is absolutely not a charity event. It is not a fanfare for people who are trying to better their lives through improved health. It is an event designed to make money through the open and legitimised endangerment of animals. Every year. 3 days worth. We get on with it. Mr Wayne David you are coming across to the rest of the planet as a miserable old curmudgeon who has nothing better to do than to stir up unrest amongst your constituents so much so that they feel it is their right to endanger the lives of others to make your point heard. It did not go unnoticed by us cyclists that both incidents involving tacks were close to golf courses. Throwing tacks on a road is illegal to start with. Knowing that these tacks will cause catastrophic punctures to tyres that are carrying an athlete at 25-35mph on a downhill stretch of road with a brick wall at the end whilst said cyclist is wearing no more protection against such an attack than Lycra borders on reckless endangerment to life. And you Mr David with your stance of “It shouldn’t be allowed to happen” come across as condoning these actions. You are effectively grooming people who are no more than undignified vandals to commit acts of violence against people who wish no more than to celebrate health and vitality whilst also bringing, yes bringing added business to your constituency. Take a look toward Liverpool Mr David. We regularly have closed road events in and around our city and we celebrate out culture and heritage with all who choose to visit us. The city is a finer place for it. For myself I had a great weekend in south Wales. Did I say weekend? Yes I did Mr David. I wasn’t there for just the ride I stayed a couple of nights and spent money while I did so. I stayed in Caephilly as well. Do you know where that is? Of course you do you sniveling little man it’s your back yard isn’t it? Where we booked our hotel. Our hotel because there were 12 of us, all spending money and enjoying the company of the friendly locals. Even after the event when we spoke to people from the area they remarked that while it was a tad inconvenient for the day it was a great spectacle to be able to see it and be a part of it. And here you are 2 days later still griping. Mr David you should be ashamed of yourself. For being miserable to the extreme and by using your power to speak through your local media, encouraging acts of violence against innocent people. We’re a friendly bunch of people in Liverpool. You should visit and see how friendly a well run city can be. For your part you are turning a beautiful and well situated small town into a place of misery and violence. Congratulations. I’m surprised you’re not a bloody Tory.
    Paul Dunbar 10844