Protests at Vachery Triathlon meeting

Vachery Triathlon route maps
Vachery Triathlon route maps

Plans for a triathlon, involving road closures on the A29 and in and around several villages, got a stormy reception in Forest Green.

The cycle section of the Vachery Triathlon is set to close roads from the Vachery Estate near Cranleigh to Ellens Green, Rowhook, Leith Hill, Holmbury St Mary, and Forest Green between 6am and 2pm on Sunday July 21.

The running section will see road closures from the Vachery Estate along Knowle Lane, Cranleigh, between 7.45am and 5pm.

Vachery Triathlon organisers called the public meeting to discuss their plans, but found vocal opposition in a crowd that packed out Forest Green village hall.

Hazel Watson (LDem, Dorking Hills) pointed out that locals are having to cope with a number of events in the area which require road closures. “We’re talking about three road closures in three months, and two within two weeks,” she said. “Local residents feel we’ve had so many road closures in so short a space of time that they feel that it’s an imposition.”

One resident told the organisers: “We have some elderly family members nearby.

“We may at a minute’s notice have to get in the car and use one of these roads - what are we going to come up against?”

Race director Mark Davis said: “If someone has planned essential care or needs to get to work then we will do our utmost to make sure those journeys take place.”

He added that they will be able to provide people with a direct line to their control point, and there will be 100 marshalls on the course who will be able to help anyone who needs to use the roads.

One local asked: “Why should we have to give you notice? We have the right to go into or out of our house whenever we like.”

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Davis said it had been a ‘difficult’ evening, but his staff had been able to make contact with people who will need to get around on the Sunday. He said journeys can be arranged, even during road closure times.

“For all essential care - for any critical journeys - they’re not closed anyway,” he said.

He urged anyone who has to travel on the day to get in touch with them on 01483 865102or by email at vachery@braveevents.co.uk