Huge cycle event with thousands of riders set to return to Essex - here's when

·3-min read
Classique first winner - Stage one winner Lorena Wiebes of Team DSM from The Netherlands in Maldon. Photo: Bob Martin for London Marathon Events
Classique first winner - Stage one winner Lorena Wiebes of Team DSM from The Netherlands in Maldon. Photo: Bob Martin for London Marathon Events

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.

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.

An Essex County Council spokesman said:  “Essex County Council has (Friday 12th August) signalled its intention to host the RideLondon-Essex cycling festival in the county in 2023.

“ECC plans to agree a one-year contract with organisers London Marathon Events to host the event on Sunday 28th May 2023, following the success of the first RideLondon-Essex in May 2022.

“A Cabinet Member Action by Cllr Lee Scott, Cabinet Member for Highways Maintenance and Sustainable Transport, confirming the event in 2023 has been published on the Essex County Council website. A three working day call-in period in to allow other county council members to scrutinise the decision is now progressing.

“Further details will be available on Thursday 18th August once the three working day call-in period has ended.”