Council considering whether to allow RideLondon to continue as contract comes to an end

The huge two-day cycling festival includes a popular sportive and Britain’s only WorldTour race

(Image credit: Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

A council is considering whether to allow RideLondon to continue beyond 2020 as the contract to hold the popular event comes to an end.

The two-day festival of cycling has been held every year since 2013 and features a mass-participation event and a WorldTour race.

But the agreement to run the event through London and Surrey comes to an end in 2020, with Surrey County Council considering whether to continue the event from 2021 through to 2025.

The authority has launched a public consultation (opens in new tab) to gather the opinions of residents on whether it should continue to support the event, while also setting out the council’s involvement and the benefits of hosting thousands of cyclists.

Surrey County Council said: “As well as riders and their supporters visting Surrey on the day of the event, many riders visit the area on a year-round basis to cycle benefitting the local economy. TV coverage has highlighted the beauty of Surrey firmly establishing the country as one of the UK’s top cycling destinations.”

The event also helps raise a considerable amount of money for Surrey-based organisations through the London Marathon Charitable Trust, with more than 70 projects in the country benefitting from more than £4.3million in grants.

Since 2013, £66million has been raised for charity making it the most successful cycling fundraising event in Europe.

In 2019, 30,344 amateur riders took part in the three sportives, with distances of 100 miles, 46 miles and 19 miles on offer.

On the impacts RideLondon has on Surrey, the council said: “Four events take place on one day in Surrey on closed roads (the date varies each year from late July to early August). This means temporary traffic restrictions are needed including full road closures, one-way driving on some roads and no stopping restrictions on others.

“Travel by car and bus are affected on the day.”

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The council also highlighted that all direct costs from the event are covered by the event organiser, but the authority does support the event with input from the emergency management team, adult social care, children’s services and highways, while also ensuring suitable safety measures are in place, the traffic management is effective, residents are businesses are properly kept up to date and emergency care for vulnerable residents is available.

If the council agrees to continue with the event it will run at least until 2025, but if the event does not go ahead it will be run for the last time in 2021 to allow organisers time to find an alternative host.

The consultation runs from Monday, December 30 2019 until Sunday, February 16 2020.

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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.