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Cycle race route will not benefit

Readers' letters | Published:

Democracy is supposed to be government by the people for the people. If I’m wrong someone will give me another definition quite quickly. Here’s an example of how democracy seems to work in Staffordshire:

Someone, or group, in Stafford have negotiations with a group of cyclists in Birmingham (?) and give permission for a charitable cycle race. This race starts and finishes in Birmingham, goes along the A456 through Halesowen and Stourbridge, joins the A449 through Stourton where it joins the A458. Then through lanes to Swindon through Wombourne, Lower Penn, Seisdon, Six Ashes, Enville, Kinver, Wolverley, Bewdley, Great Whitley, Ombersley, Droitwich Spa, Belbroughton, Client, Romsley and back into Birmingham.

It’s called the Velo Birmingham Cycle Race as far as I can make out. It’s described as a brand new venture to raise funds for ‘local’ charities. These ‘local’ charities being Alzheimer’s Society, Cureleukaemia, NSPCC and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity. Of these four, three, are national charities not local ones but maybe I’m splitting hairs.

My grumble? We’ll start from the fact that there will be ‘rolling road closures’ for much of the day! Causing inconvenience, and upset to local inhabitants, and it’s only now that people are being informed about them. Why after objections from local and district councils did the people in Stafford decide to allow it? It’s not as if there will be any economic ‘bonus’ for the people being put to inconvenience.

If Birmingham Velo want a ‘Birmingham’ race hold it within their city. They’ve got ring roads that they could use, along with a city centre which is basically a no go zone for motorists. I appreciate that, probably, it’s too late for anything to be done this year, but perhaps those ‘very important people’ in Stafford could explain as to why this race is being allowed? As usual I will not be holding my breath in anticipation of their response, after all, they’re possibly too important to have to listen to the ‘ordinary’ people, like me, but their behaviour in this case is more like something out of 1984 (George Orwell novel) than 2017.

Just one further point, do not excuse this by saying ‘it’s for charity’. Charity begins at home, or at least locally, and only one of the charities benefitting from this can be honestly called local – and even then it’s 20+ miles from Wombourne!

Mr M Gough, Wombourne

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