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.
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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.
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.