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PETITION: Last Chance to Sign Surrey Pro-Cycling Petition

by Nick Gregory

Tomorrow, Tuesday 3rd December, a petition will be submitted to Surrey County Council in an attempt to protect the future of mass participation cycling events in the county. 

The petition - created by Keith McRae - is in direct response to Ian Huggins' petition entitled: "Stop Surrey Being Turned into a Cycle Track." Huggins, of Esher, has claimed that he and fellow residents feel "pestered" and "confined to their homes" by cycling events in the county. 

"Surrey County Council have, without consultation, decided it would be a great idea to use Surrey as a race track... This prevents residents of Surrey from leaving their own property and going about their normal business", Huggins claimed. 

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The counter-petition has been set up to defend events such as RideLondon, which, it was announced last week, broke the UK charity fundraising record for a one-day cycling event. However, the petition also calls upon Surrey County Council to ensure that residents are, "informed and brought into discussions about routes and road closures that may come into effect during such high profile events." 

McRae goes on to stress that RideLondon 100 "is NOT a race, but a cyclosportive", before outlining the economic benefits the event brings to the local area: "those of us who are not local need somewhere to stay, also food and drink." 

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Michael Blann, a photographer and former HotChillee ride captain, has been involved in rallying support for the petition: "As a Surrey resident it was suggested I could help further with the petition by being elected as the person to hand it in to the County Council", Blann said. 

He continued, "having been a cyclist myself for the past 25 years, I have seen the huge uptake in the sport and welcome the fact that more people are using it as a way to get fit and enjoy Surrey as a county." 

The petition will be handed in to Surrey County Council tomorrow - Tuesday 3rd December. 

What do you think? Do cycling events in Surrey need to be better managed? Is the small amount of inconvenience for residents worth it for the health and participation benefits of thousands of cyclists? Comment below.