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Race chiefs pledge better management of traffic
Otley Cycle Race organisers are promising that traffic management will be “as good as the racing”.
The 2011 event was a huge success and attracted many of the country's best riders, large crowds, and several television camera crews.
But complaints from residents about being left stranded and unable to get home, due to road closures, marred the occasion.
Now professional help has been enlisted to ensure those problems don’t resurface when the town's streets once more resound to the sound of two wheels on Wednesday, June 20.
Volunteer organiser Giles Pidcock hopes that will mean people can focus purely on the racing, which will see 110 pro riders battling it out as Otley hosts the British Cycling Elite Circuit Race Championship.
He said: “We have spent a great amount of time trying to solve the traffic problems, and are for the first time using a professional traffic management company to implement the road closure, at 5.30pm.
“We've also developed a traffic management plan around the town, a big feature of which will be that competitors and spectators will be directed to a special car park, at the Wharfedale Farmers Auction Mart in Leeds Road.
“The riders will also be instructed to come in from the south end of the town, and we'll have marshals on the roundabouts to give advice to motorists to take them around, rather than through, Otley.
“The road closure on Leeds Road means we can only let people onto it who either live in the area or who are going to the race’s car park. The residents are the key people in all this.”
Giles paid tribute to Park Lane Homes, whose sponsorship is paying for the extra traffic management, and to Leeds City Council and the police.
He is expecting larger crowds than ever this year, when they will be able to cheer on Otley’s Olympic hopeful, Lizzie Armitstead, and previous Olympic gold medal winner Ed Clancy.
Giles said: “We've had to slightly increase the field in the pro race to take 110 riders, which will include Ed Clancy, Russell and Dean Downing, and last year's winner Scott Thwaites.
“We've also got Lizzie Armitstead riding in the support race.”
For full details visit otleycycleraces.co.uk.