Date set for RideLondon 2023

The date has been set for a mass cycle event for tens of thousands of people to ride through some of Essex’s prettiest countryside from London and back next year.

The announcement comes after the event held on June 23 this year in which, total of 22,367 riders took part, in the RideLondon-Essex cycling day. The final route for 2023 is yet to be settled.

The mass participation event is the culmination of a three-day cycling weekend that includes two elite cycle races and a mass event for members of the public who can choose to cycle either 30, 60 or 100 miles starting and finishing in London while taking in 60 miles of Essex roads.

The RideLondon Essex cycling event is set to go ahead for May 28 2023.

Essex County Council says the event will help support and inspire people in Essex taking up cycling as part of a healthy, active and environmentally sustainable lifestyle.

It will also showcase Essex as an attractive county that is open for visitors and for the staging of big events.

The authority adds that this event will also help boost fundraising for local charities that play an important role in supporting communities. Essex has committed to hosting the event until 2023.

Among the direct benefits are the £1m from The London Marathon Charitable Trust to inspire activity in communities over the next 12 months across Essex and the economic impact, including direct spend by organisers of more than £500k with Essex businesses.

Also, the promotion of Essex as a visitor destination to participants and TV audiences – there were more than three and a half hours of TV coverage given over on BBC and international channels.

The cycling festival was held in Essex after a new partnership between London Marathon Events ( LME ) Limited was formed with Essex County Council – the event was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic – due to the level of opposition to road closures and the level of disruption many residents in Surrey complained about.

That was made following a Surrey County Council public consultation in 2020 which indicated the event should leave Surrey altogether – of the respondents living in Surrey, 49 per cent strongly agreed and 41 per cent strongly disagreed that they wanted the event to continue as it is over the next five years.

Around 60 per cent of Surrey residents participating in the survey strongly agreed they had been directly impacted by the road closures.

But a consultation run by Essex County Council and LME after the event this year will have to conducted again due to low uptake – LME have reappointed an engagement manager to contact all 44 parishes and businesses impacted by the route to gather feedback on the event and the route.

Last year the route started in central London, entered Essex via Epping Forest and then passed through Chipping Ongar, Fyfield and Leaden Roding before reaching Great Dunmow.

Felsted marked just over halfway in the 100-mile ride, as cyclists headed back south towards Chelmsford on the 2014 Tour de France route.

They then headed west towards Writtle and then back towards Chipping Ongar, into London once more ahead of finish at Tower Bridge.

A statement from Essex County Council, which is due to sign off the agreement in the coming days, said: “The event will contribute to Essex County Council climate change priorities looking to encourage Essex residents to be more aware of the benefits of being physical activity by cycling which in turn would increase awareness of active travel and support reducing the number of short journeys made by car and reduce emissions.”

It adds: “Ride London is traditionally a three-day cycling event that includes two elite cycle races and a mass participation event for members of the public.

“This partnership with LME will allow Essex to be the host county for the mass participation event in 2023, which will help support an inspire people in Essex taking up cycling as part of a healthy, active and environmentally sustainable lifestyle.

“It will also showcase Essex as an attractive county that is open for visitors and for the staging of big events.

“Bringing this event to Essex will also help boost fundraising for local charities that play an important role in supporting our communities.”

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter