Road Closure FAQs

If your question isn’t answered below, please get in touch with our Route Team at route@velonorth.com

What are the benefits of Vélo North?

Economic: Based on previous experience, up to 50% of non-local riders will book local hotel accommodation the night before the event. In addition, each rider will on average have around 2 spectators accompanying them, all of whom will spend money in the region. Many riders also visit the region ahead of the event whilst training. We plan to further dial up the economic impact by promoting, via the Vélo North website and PR activity, businesses, hotels, restaurants and other attractions in the region.

Profile: Vélo North will be an opportunity to showcase County Durham and its surrounding areas to visitors in the run up to, during and after the event. We expect over half of our 15,000 riders to come from outside of County Durham, and therefore the region will be introduced to a whole new audience.

Health & Wellbeing: In line with the objectives of our host local authority, Vélo North aims to inspire more people to cycle by encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle. Post-event rider surveys at Vélo events indicate that 62% of participants were inspired to cycle more regularly and 34% said they would replace short car journeys with their bike.
Community: Vélo North is anticipated to be a great spectacle and an opportunity for communities to support friends and family and engage with event activations in the local area.
Charity: We expect riders to raise substantial amounts for local and national good causes, including our principal charity partners. This will make Vélo North one of the most successful charitable sporting events of 2019.

Examples of local support from previous events included a village that put on a bike festival, local pubs holding micro events with music and food, restaurants and shops offering event day discounts to riders, huge family engagement (food stands, cake sales in driveways etc.) and numerous opportunities for businesses to partake in the event directly, cross promote and also fundraise.

What is the Local Authorities involvement?

Durham County Council, as the local authority, have been asked by CSM Active (the event organisers) to make a Traffic order that in effect closes the roads to all traffic on event day. A series of road closures will then be implemented along the route during the day and lifted once the cyclists have passed by. Sections of the route will be open again to all traffic by 08:45 with the last sections of the route opening to traffic by around 19:00. The route is subject to on-going discussion and engagement with stakeholders as part of the Safety Advisory Group (SAG) process to ensure it is suitable and having due regard to the safety and convenience of alternative routes suitable for traffic that will be affected by the Order. Any access issues and the objections of those who may be affected must be considered by the local authorities – just like the many other temporary road closures that are requested every year by those organising community or other sporting events.

What is a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO)?

Legally a TTRO can be made restricting or prohibiting traffic on a road to facilitate the holding of an event, to enable members of the public to watch an event or reduce disruption to traffic likely to be caused by an event. The procedural regulations for the TTRO require that intention to make the legal Order is formally advertised by way of a statutory notice published 28 days before an event takes place. This is a noticing procedure rather than a consultation and a subsequent statutory notice will be published by our residing local authorities confirming the proposed Order has been made.

Why are road closures required?

Due to the scale and numbers participating in Vélo North, it is necessary to implement road closures across the full route to facilitate the safe passage of the participants and to ensure the safety of residents and businesses. These are put in place and removed in sections to minimise the length of time the roads are closed. The road closures are carefully considered and selected through a partnership of all local authorities, emergency services, and transport operators to minimise the inconvenience of the necessary road closures. Full details of all closures and their timings will be published in due course once finalised.

What are the impacts on local businesses and residents?

The Vélo Route Team will continue right up to event day to help businesses and residents who get in touch with any access challenges they face and help them plan for the event day. This includes providing alternative routes and providing additional resource to those individuals who need to cross or travel along the route in a motor vehicle whilst the road closures are in effect, such as care providers, farmers, equine centres or vets. In order to provide advice, the team need to be contacted with specific information on the route needing to be taken. They can be contacted on route@velonorth.com. From experience, solutions can be found for the vast majority of access issues raised.

In the case of an emergency, the priority immediately becomes that of the emergency services. In order to provide a safe and quick passing of any emergency vehicle, the stewards and event professionals attached to the event will manage the movement of the cyclists on the route accordingly. In addition to this, participants will be briefed in advance of the event on the protocol if they see or hear an emergency vehicle approaching and should always be alert.

All emergency services have been involved with every step of the planning of this event and are fully satisfied that they can operate as normal with the plans in place.

How can people get around the road closures?

Footpaths and pavements will not be affected, and pedestrians will be able to continue to use these as well as existing crossing points. On some sections of the route, where footpaths are unavailable, pedestrian access will be limited only to those with properties or businesses affected by the road closure. Please take extra care when navigating roads along the route and ask an event steward for assistance if you are unsure. For locals travelling by bicycle, it is recommended to dismount at the road closure and take care when crossing the route, again using an existing crossing point where available

It will not be possible to cross or drive along the route in a vehicle. The easiest way to navigate around the road closures will be to use Google maps or a satellite enabled/live update GPS. The route and road closures will be updated live into these systems on the day of the event.

We strongly recommend where possible to plan any journeys ahead of time. A fully interactive route map and travel advice is available on our website here. In some instances, for residents living very close to the route, parking a short distance away ahead of the road closures may be advisable in order to make a particular journey without a detour.

For anyone struggling to navigate the road closures, find a route, or with any other queries, the Vélo Route Team are available to assist and are contactable by emailing route@velonorth.com in the lead up to the event. On the day of the event the hotline number 03000 265 500 will also be in operation to offer assistance.

Can I still walk around the area and cross over the route on foot?

Yes, pedestrian access via existing defined footpaths and pavements is maintained. If the need to cross the route arises, local residents and spectators are advised to take care and look for the nearest existing road crossing point or speak to an event steward for assistance.

How will parking be affected by the road closures?

There will be parking restrictions in place along the event route in order to ensure the safety of participants, the general public and the vehicles in question. Areas with restricted parking will be signed and coned in advance of the event and vehicles affected will be flyered in the fortnight before the event to ensure that they are aware. If you usually park on a road used for the event and are in one of the affected areas, we ask if you’d kindly help us by moving your vehicle the night before. Any cars parked in these areas may be towed to a nearby street off-route if still in situ when enforcement commences in order to ensure a safe route ahead of the event. For those affected we advise using local parking locations, your driveway or alternative side roads clear of the route.

How will the road closures affect local transport such as buses or trains?

Vélo North is working with all local transport providers to assist them in planning and to communicate any affected services. Some local buses may run to an amended timetable or follow an amended route. This information will be available ahead of the event.

How do you ensure the general safety of the event and of local people?

Safety is a primary focus of this event from both a participant and general public perspective and is at the forefront of decision making throughout the planning process. Subject to the scrutiny of ‘Safety Advisory Groups’, Vélo North engages with Local Authority representatives, Emergency Services and other key stakeholders on all safety planning aspects. Appropriate infrastructure, signage or stewarding will be employed across the route and road closures to mitigate risk to both participants and locals.

The event will be managed by over 1,200 staff on the day of the event. This includes event professionals, the emergency services, professional stewards, security, motorcycle marshals and volunteers.

How will access for emergency services work?

Engagement with the Emergency Services throughout the planning process is of paramount importance, and they will be in attendance at many core operational and safety meetings. They will have a presence in the Event Control Room on the day of the event to ensure their response needs are maintained and unobstructed.

Emergency Services will operate as usual on the day of the event and emergency services vehicle access will be maintained throughout. The public should use normal protocol, calling 999 or 111 as appropriate in the case of an emergency.

Please note the event has its own medical provider to cover the needs of participants during the event.

What facilities will the event put in place for participants?

Vélo North will have both feed stations and water stations along the route, which will provide facilities to support the cyclists. These will include temporary toilets and waste management facilities to ensure that the event does not have an adverse impact on local communities and the environment. These feed and water stations often provide further opportunities for local businesses to benefit from the event. Full cleansing of these sites, their surroundings and the wider route will occur prior to and after the event to ensure that any litter is collected.

How can local communities, businesses and residents get involved in the event?

Everyone is invited to spectate and cheer on the riders taking on the 100-mile and 50-mile challenges!

Local communities, businesses and residents are encouraged to get involved with the event and maximise its benefits. We want you to make the most of this exciting event, so if you’re a business, club, community organisation or resident of County Durham there are lots of ways to get involved and take advantage of the celebratory atmosphere that will be spread throughout the region. Please let us know if you have an idea or plans to get involved on route@velonorth.com . Additionally, there will be opportunities for local residents to volunteer at the event along the route and at the venue. If you are interested in volunteering please email volunteer@velonorth.com.

Businesses can also take part in the event through the Business 100 entry option. Find out more here.