Box Hill closed during Easter weekend to prevent spread of coronavirus

The National Trust is warning cyclists not to travel to the iconic climb

Box Hill will be closed during the Easter weekend to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The National Trust has announced that the iconic Zig Zag road climb to the top of Box Hill will be closed from Friday to Monday (April 10-13) to discourage people travelling unnecessarily during the nationwide lockdown.

Box Hill, the most popular Strava segment in the world, is the latest attraction to be closed to dissuade people from gathering, following the closure of Richmond Park and Brockwell Park in London.

National Trust countryside manager Andrew Wright said: “Working in partnership with Surrey County Council and Surrey Police, we are closing the Zig Zag road at Box Hill for the Easter long weekend, to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The road will be closed to all but essential traffic. All our car parks remain closed, please do not drive or cycle to Box Hill for your daily exercise. We’re sorry if this is disappointing news, but hope you understand. We look forward to welcoming you back once it is safe to do so."

The measures have been taken after pictures in The Times newspaper last weekend appeared to suggest that cyclists had been flouting social distancing rules while climbing Box Hill.

However, a cyclist who appeared in one of the images said the photographer used a telephoto lens, which did not give an accurate picture of the distance between riders.

The climb has featured in the 2012 Olympic road race and is included in the RideLondon sportive and pro race each year.

Last month, cyclists were banned from riding in Richmond Park because of the volume of cyclists and the lack of social distancing.

The West London park had remained open for people carrying out their allotted one daily exercise but Royal Parks, which runs Richmond park, said it could not enforce social distancing rule so made the decision to close the gates to the general public.

>>> British Cycling expects to lose £4million during coronavirus lockdown 

The UK is currently in lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus, which means people must not leave their house other than for essential reasons like food or medical supplies.

Each person is allowed one type of exercise per day, but people have been told to “stay local” to reduce the risk of infection.

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.